Business, Finance & Economics

Italy's new government announced by PM Mario Monti


Italy's former EU commissioner Mario Monti, tipped to replace outgoing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, arrives at the Senate in Rome, on November 11, 2011.


Andrea Solaro

Italy's interim prime minister Mario Monti unveiled the country's new government Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Commentators say the cabinet is made up of respected experts and academics rather than politicians, in a bid to reassure markets that Italy will stick to its pledges to make difficult financial reforms.

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Monti himself, a former European Central Bank economist, will take over the finance ministry, reported the New York Times.

Antonio Catricala, the current head of Italy's anti-trust regulator, becomes his deputy prime minister.

Other key appointments include:

  • the chief executive of Italy's biggest retail bank Intesa SanPaolo, Corrado Passera, as Minister of Infrastructure and Economic Development;
  • social security expert Elsa Fornero as Minister of Labor and Welfare;
  • Italy's current ambassador to Washington, Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata, as Foreign Minister;
  • law professor Paola Severino as Justice Minister;
  • public finance expert Piero Giarda as Minister for Relations with Parliament.

Monti told a news conference that non-politicians had been chosen in order to prioritize swift reforms:

"The absence of political personalities in the government will help rather than hinder a solid base of support for the government in parliament and in the political parties, because it will remove one ground for disagreement."

Monti's refusal to appoint any of his predecessor's cronies demonstrates "his determination to establish himself as a political innovator who is not in thrall to the leadership of Silvio Berlusconi and his ministers," the BBC said.

But Reuters pointed out that the lack of political personalities could make the new administration "more vulnerable to ambushes in parliament as it pushes through unpopular measures."

The new government will be officially sworn in at the presidential palace later on Wednesday.

It is expected to announce details of its reform program Thursday, said the Telegraph, before facing confidence votes in both houses of parliament.

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