Italy’s new prime minister Mario Monti has begun assembling a team of non-political experts as he tries to put together a new government capable of dealing with the country’s economic troubles.
With public debt at almost two trillion euros – around 120 percent of GDP – a broad political consensus will be vital in implementing much-needed austerity measures.
“It’s a testing time, a time for the highest sense of responsibility. There’s no room for partisan revenge, or recriminations. It’s time to rebuild an atmosphere of growing peace and mutual respect,” said Italy’s president Giorgio Napolitano.
The swift passing of more than 50 percent of the budget-cutting initiatives requested by the euro zone signalled the end for former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. After resigning, he was jeered as left the presidential palace on Saturday night.