Ambivalence over Berlusconi replacement in Italy

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Ambivalence over Berlusconi replacement in Italy

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The first-stage passing of a new financial stability law is a big step towards Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s departure. The longest-serving post-war premier will see President Giorgio Napolitano to formerly resign once the legislation has successfully passed through parliament.

The Italian press is now focusing on his anticipated replacement Mario Monti, warning the celebrated economist to watch out for the traps in the great task ahead of him.

However, markets are responding positively to the change in leadership according to market analyst Gianmaria Bergantino: “Mario Monti would just be the first step for Italy, because he will make these stability rules and try to apply all the reforms that the European countries asked of us,” he said.

Despite reassuring signs from the markets and positive responses from world leaders, Italian people are still unsure, like one man from Rome who told reporters: “I don’t know Monti and it’s the people that are around him that worry me. We just don’t have any real political system.”

Another man said he too was lacking faith in the main parties: “I think we will find an equilibrium with this choice of Monti. Neither side of the political spectrum is capable of dealing with our real needs.”

“I am not sure we will be able to avoid the

default. I am not very optimistic,” said another Roman, evidently feeling bleak about the near- and middle-term future.

The new government could be in place before markets open on Monday, but that is just the beginning of a hard road to economic recovery.