European Commission competition chief Mario Monti has been asked to return to Rome to manage the Italian economy following the resignation of the country’s finance minister.
European Commission competition chief Mario Monti has been asked to return to Rome to manage the Italian economy following the resignation of the country’s finance minister. According to the Spanish daily ABC, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and President Carlo Ciampi have asked the competition commissioner to return to his native Italy out of a sense of patriotism. The news follows Giulio Tremonti's resignation on Friday. Tremonti was forced to resign after Deputy Prime Minister Gianfranco Fini said "it is either him or us" and threatened to pull down the ruling four-party coalition. ‘Supermario’ as Mr Monti is sometimes known, has the support of three of the parties in Italy’s governing coalition. He has been a commissioner since 1995, serving under the last commission as the head of the Internal Market. Monti was said to be in Milan yesterday although it is not yet clear if he met with Berlusconi. Initial reports indicate he may be willing to take the job if he is given a free rein over economic policy and if it is clearly a technical rather than political posting. ( EUobserver.com)