Italian politics are back in business ahead of Mario Monti’s announcement on Sunday about whether or not he will be a candidate for prime minister in the February election.
Parliament has dissolved, and centre right and centre left parties have had a peek at Monti’s outlines for a four-year term, but many people insist the now-caretaker prime minister is listening to public opinion as much as anything else before declaring his candidacy.
With the curtain coming down on technocrats, Monti has found a cool response from the parties where he might find his most natural allies.
Saturday’s press revealed their reaction; “Doubt” said one; Monti “puts the brakes on” his campaign says another. But what about public opinion?
“I wish he would run, he would be at least an honest person. I would be very glad if he declared,” said one woman in Rome.
“Did he do well to resign, gosh, maybe yes. But he could also have stayed a little longer, at least until the elections,” said one man.
With one poll this week saying 61 percent of Italians did not want him to stand, Monti knows personal popularity alone will not swing it.
“I don’t trust technocrats. The government has to be a political one and politicians have to take their responsibility to run things,” said an elderly man.
“As it says in our constitution, which our country is founded on, we have the right to work. Do we really want it? And do we really want the 30-40 year-olds still living at home with their mums? Okay, let’s start doing something for Italy,” said a young man.
On Sunday we will know if Monti feels he has enough support to run for elected office; both as a candidate to go before the people, and on the issues he chooses to underline.