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Mario Monti's emergency government

The New Italian Government

An incredulous and shaken up Italy has welcomed the new emergency government of Mario Monti. After Berlusconi’s resignation, Italians have breathed a sigh of relief and started to hope for a better future for the country. Many greeted the presence of a new, competent and clean face in power with joy. However, in most of the main Italian cities students and trade unions have protested against the banks and the measures taken in face of the financial crisis. They also defined the new government “the government of the bankers” because most of its representatives have connections with the financial sector.

            As a matter of fact the new Italian government is a cabinet of Tecnocrats. Prime Minister Mario Monti didn’t include members of the country’s current political ruling class in order to restore credibility of Italy in international financial markets. According to Monti, the absence of political personalities in the government will be helpful because it will remove one ground for disagreement. However, some analysts have said this lack of political cover may leave the administration open to being undermined in parliament.

            In the new government there are 12 ministers with spending power; one of them is Mario Monti, who kept the economy and finance portfolio himself. The ministers’ average age is 63 years old, reflecting a clear sign of one of the big problems of the country: the difficulty of making space for the new generations. A pleasant surprise though, is that there are three women in key positions in the new government: Paola Severino (justice), Elsa Fornero (labour and social politics), and Anna Maria Cancellieri (internal politics). The new government, which has been called “the government of the professors” because eleven out of the eighteen ministers are professors, has received the approval of the Italian people and  European Union.

            Maybe a few years ago this government would have been strongly criticized because of its bonds with the Vatican and its declared connection with the industrial world and the banks.  For example Corrado Passera, CEO of the Intesa Sanpaolo banking group, was named to head the new ministry of development, infrastructure and transport.  Also Antonio Catricala, head of the anti-trust authority, was made under-secretary to the prime minister's office. However, those who are sceptical about it have been forced by the emergency times to suspend their judgment and see what will happen.

Giulia Lombardo

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