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Dublin: -1°C Saturday 23 January 2021

Monti announces Italian cabinet - and will be his own finance minister

The new Italian cabinet is made up mostly of independent technocrats, and will see Monti double up as PM and finance minister.

Mario Monti will formally take power in Italy this afternoon, officially ending Silvio Berlusconi's reign.
Mario Monti will formally take power in Italy this afternoon, officially ending Silvio Berlusconi's reign.
Image: Pier Paolo Cito/AP

MARIO MONTI has unveiled his new Italian cabinet – and is to act as his own finance minister in a bid to streamline his administration.

In a brief press conference after wrapping up talks to form his new administration, Monti told reporters he hoped to prioritise restarting economic growth in Italy.

Doing so will require him to implement “sacrifices”, he added, warning that the road to recovery would not be easy and hinting that he may try to implement further austerity measures.

His economic policies will be outlined in the Italian Senate on Thursday, which – along with the lower Chamber of Deputies – is required to pass a motion of confidence before he can enact any laws.

The chamber is likely to hold a similar vote on Friday, though both houses are likely to comfortably pass the motions given the wide range of support that Monti’s administration has already secured.

The cabinet is largely made up of technocrats who do not have political backgrounds – Reuters said the industry portfolio, for example, would be given to the CEO of the country’s biggest retail bank.

“The absence of political personalities in the government will help rather than hinder a solid base of support for the government in parliament and in the political parties because it will remove one ground for disagreement,” Monti said.

The new cabinet will nonetheless be sworn in later this afternoon, formally ending the three-and-a-half year tenure of Silvio Berlusconi.

Italy’s cost of borrowing remained precariously high on the markets today, though it had fallen slightly to below the 7 per cent mark after Monti announced that he would retain the finance brief himself.

Earlier: Monti set to announce new Italian government

Yesterday: Italian borrowing costs spike again as coalition talks go on

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Gavan Reilly

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