The appointment of Italy’s new prime minister has been met with a mixed reaction.
The markets have not thrown overwhelming support behind Mario Monti.
But, among analysts, hopes remain high that the experienced economist can solve Italy’s dire financial problems.
“There is an interest in Italy and elsewhere for this government to succeed. The skills are all there, so we can be optimistic,” said Paolo Magri, Director of Italy’s Institute of International Political Studies.
It is difficult to overstate the challenge facing Monti, with the eyes of Europe and the rest of the world set firmly on him.
Euronews has also spoken to Luigi Spinola, journalist and political analyst in Rome, about the test facing Italy’s new prime minister.
Giovanni Magi, euronews: “The response from the financial markets to Mario Monti’s appointment has been ambivalent. What do you think is needed to regain the confidence internationally?”
“The markets have previously welcomed the prospect of political change – the end of a very weak government led by Berlusconi and the formation of a new government led by an experienced and highly regarded man, Mario Monti. Above all, the prospect of being open to reforms shared with the European Union. The markets are now waiting.
“Monti’s appointment was certainly an important first step. Now the markets are waiting for the promises to be implemented.
“This does not mean that, simply, a new goverment has to be formed as soon as possible. It is true that there is an emergency, but the government also has to be solid with the prospect of a long life.
As well as a list of ministers, it also takes strong commitment and strong accountability of the main parties.”
euronews: “Can Monti rescue Italy or is the country beyond the point of no return?”
“I believe Monti can rescue Italy. But I think the game is very complicated and is played on two fields. The first is public opinion. The Italian people will support the plan known as “blood and tears” and the necessary reforms, if they feel that these reforms and sacrifices are shared by all. So the watch word is “fairness.” It will be important to highlight to citizens an attack on the priviliges of the elite.
“This is the first ground. The second is more complicated. Mario Monti will hold together a new majority consisting of two parties that essentially have been making war for nearly 20 years. It does not take an alliance to carry out this reform plan, to save Italy, but we definitely want a truce first and then to start a long enough path together.”
euronews: “So, a double challenge. On one hand, to make Italians accept unpopular measures. On the other, to convince the various parties of the coalition?”
“Yes, this is the double challenge. It takes a kind of virtuous circle that will allow Italians to support a very hard programme.
“But as we said before, it is essentially political. As President Napolitano said very clearly, it is important to form a long-term government, a government able to complete the term, not just a government in the run up to the general election.”