Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has called upon popular technocrat and Senator for life Mario Monti to form a government to tackle Italy’s growing sovereign debt crisis. Berlusconi’s party, the People of Liberty, promised to only cooperate for as long as it takes to pass through the necessary measures to reduce Italy’s $2.6 trillion public debt. Meanwhile, Berlusconi derided those who cheered his departure from the prime ministership, and according to the New York Times, “he tendered his resignation, an act he said had been one of ‘generosity’ toward the country.” Indeed, Berlusconi’s resignation was in many ways an act of mercy, sparing the Italian people further embarrassment for a politician more known for his ‘bunga bunga’ parties and various other scandals than legislative success. The recent inability of Berlusconi to produce a majority capable of passing through austerity legislation led to his resignation but prior to this his government was on shaky ground because of the general erosion of confidence in the euro zone states.
Mario Monti, born in 1943 in Varese, Lombardy, has served as European Commissioner for two terms and is a current Senator in the Italian Senate. He studied economics and management at Bocconi University and completed graduate studies at Yale University. He is an intellectual advisor to Goldman Sachs and Coca Cola. Mario received his first political appointment from Silvio Berlusconi in 1994 when he was appointed to the European Commission, a position for which he was again confirmed in 1999 but not in 2004. Monti produced research on the future of the euro zone in his Report on the Future of the Single Market.