News / Europe

    Mario Monti to Lead Italy's New Government

    Italy's new premier-designate economist Mario Monti walks past a Cuirassier presidential guard at the Quirinale Presidential Palace in Rome after talks with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011.
    Italy's new premier-designate economist Mario Monti walks past a Cuirassier presidential guard at the Quirinale Presidential Palace in Rome after talks with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011.
    Henry Ridgwell

    Italian Prime Minister-designate Mario Monti, a former top EU commissioner, has been asked by the country's president to form a new government.  The move comes a day after Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's resignation, following international financial concerns about the Italian economy.

    After at least 17 meetings with senior politicians on Sunday, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano asked Mario Monti to form a new government.

    The former EU commissioner said he would fight to grow the country's economy and rebuild pride in Italy. "I intend to fulfill this task with a great sense of responsibility and service toward our country,” he said.  “In a moment of particular difficulty for Italy, in a turbulent situation for Europe and the world," he added, "the country needs to meet the challenge," he said.

    Former coalition partners, the Northern League Party, have refused to back Mr. Monti as prime minister, instead calling for early elections.  Analysts say it is a sign that prime minister-designate faces a tough challenge in implementing a major austerity package that was approved by parliament in the past week to reduce Italy's huge public debt.

    The naming of Mario Monti as Italy's new prime minister came less than 24 hours after Silvio Berlusconi’s resignation, which was cheered on the streets of Rome.

    Italy’s borrowing costs soared last week and investors made it clear they wanted Mr. Berlusconi out of office.  He addressed the nation on television on Sunday. "Italy is among the founders of the European Union," he said.  "We will be at Italy's service, as always.  To those who celebrated, to salute what they call my exit from the scene, I want to say very clearly, I will redouble my efforts in parliament and institutions to renew Italy," he said.

    The new cabinet is expected to be announced on Monday.  And analysts say it faces a daunting challenge.  Italy’s government debt is about 120 percent of the country's gross domestic product.  And Italy's economic growth has been nearly stagnant for a decade and a half.

    Political analyst Claudio Borghi says Italy’s problems are too great for the new government to solve by itself. “One should think, ‘Is it a problem of Italy or is it a problem of the architecture of the euro debt that has to be changed, deeply?’  Because Italy, of course, can need a lot of reforms.  But it’s like if someone had a heart attack.  So he has a heart attack and people start to complain that he’s fat, that he has to do a diet, that he has to go to the gym.  It is true.  We have to do a diet; we have to go to the gym.  But at the moment, it is the heart attack that matters and we are not going to change it with reforms," he said.

    Investors will be watching the financial markets this week for reaction to how Mr. Monti addresses Italy's economic situation.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora