Italy’s new prime minister designate says he is starting work immediately on forming a caretaker government.
As widely expected, Mario Monti was nominated after a day of talks chaired by Italy’s President with senior officials from the main parties.
Speaking after the meeting broke up, Monti issued a rallying call, saying that Italy was capable of overcoming its economic crisis.
“Italy must come back and must be an element of strength rather than weakness in the European Union: we were the founders and we must be the leaders,” he said.
Sentiments shared by Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano who said Italy had to work hard to regain the trust of investors and European institutions: “Avoiding general elections is a goal that all should agree on, all those who care about the fate of our country,” he pleaded.
Most parties appear to back the former European Commissioner’s nomination. He now needs to secure a working majority in parliament to implement the austerity plan that foresees up 60-billion euros worth of savings.