Bloomberg News

Monti Says He’s Confident Italy Can Overcome Current Crisis

November 16, 2011

(Updates with Marcegaglia and Bersani in sixth paragraph. For more on the region’s debt crisis, see EXT4.)

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Mario Monti, Italy’s prime minister designate, said he is “convinced” the country can overcome the current crisis as he prepares to meet with President Giorgio Napolitano tomorrow to present his new government.

Two days of talks seeking support from political parties, unions and employers were “intense and useful,” Monti said at a briefing in Rome today. All parties involved in the talks offered their contributions to “possible sacrifices” to obtain a “positive result,” he said.

The former European Union Competition Commissioner has been under pressure to announce his new team, with the yield on Italy’s 10-year bond exceeding the 7 percent threshold today. That level had prompted Greece, Ireland and Portugal to seek EU bailouts. Monti said he will conclude the process with Napolitano tomorrow.

Europe’s inability to contain a regional debt crisis that started in Greece more than two years ago led to a surge in Italian borrowing costs. Monti, an economist and former adviser to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., will try to reassure investors that Italy can cut a 1.9 trillion-euro ($2.6 trillion) debt and spur economic growth that has lagged behind the euro-region average for more than a decade.

New Cabinet

Monti tried to persuade Italy’s two largest parties to nominate members to his new Cabinet as he tries to form as board as parliamentary base as possible for his new government. So far neither Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Liberty party nor the Democratic Party, the second-largest group, have committed to supporting any politicians in the Cabinet.

Monti said he “was confident” he’d have enough political support, Emma Marcegaglia, head of Confindustria, the nation’s employers lobby, said after the talks. The leaders of the main parties weren’t that explicit. Speaking after their meetings, Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani said he supported a Monti government with “a strong technical character”.

“A government without any parliamentarians in it will have problems,” Massimo D’Alema, a former premier and member of the Democratic Party, said in an interview last night on state-run Rai3 television. “This will require that we give him some help in parliament.”

Napolitano offered Monti the post of premier on Nov. 13, a day after Berlusconi resigned. Berlusconi’s government had unraveled after defections ended his parliamentary majority an the country’s 10-year bond yield surged to euro-era records.

--Editors: Andrew Davis, Simone Meier

To contact the reporters on this story: Lorenzo Totaro in Rome at ltotaro@bloomberg.net; Chiara Vasarri in Milan at cvasarri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Fraher at jfraher@bloomberg.net


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