News / Europe

Italian PM Nominee Called Careful, Reserved

Former European commissioner and top designated Italian Premier Mario Monti leaves the Senate, in Rome, November 13, 2011.
Former European commissioner and top designated Italian Premier Mario Monti leaves the Senate, in Rome, November 13, 2011.

Italy's Mario Monti, the highly respected international economist who will take the reins of Italian government, is widely described as careful and reserved -- the near polar opposite of Silvio Berlusconi, the flamboyant, jet-setting tycoon he would replace.

Mr. Monti, a 68-year-old technocrat, heads Milan's prestigious Bocconi University.  A former top European commissioner, he is to form a government tasked with containing the perilous debt crisis gripping the continent and battering global markets.  

He has received endorsements from a broad range of bankers, politicians and international analysts for his tenacity as a negotiator and his economic acumen, despite not having held elected political office.

Former Prime Minister Romano Prodi gave Mr. Monti his blessing in an interview with the left-leaning newspaper La Reppublica. Political analyst Franco Pavoncello, president of Rome's John Cabot University, said Sunday that some of Mr. Berlusconi supporters have balked at the prospects of a government led by Mr. Monti.  But he said even they understand that Italy is "at the stage where certain reforms have to be enacted in order to save the country from bankruptcy."

Mr. Monti was born in the northern Italian town of Varese. He graduated in 1965 from Bocconi University, long considered the training ground for Italy's economic elite.  He went on to study at Yale University under Nobel Prize-winning economist James Tobin, who had been an economic advisor to U.S. President John F. Kennedy.  Mr. Monti has headed Bocconi University since 1994, the year that media tycoon Berlusconi took office.

Mr. Berlusconi resigned Saturday, ending a reign marked by repeated allegations of official corruption, sex scandals and growing criticism for his failure to rein in Italy's massive debt.  After lunching with Mr. Monti on Saturday, Mr. Berlusconi was quoted as saying his expected successor would "work in the interests of the country."

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.