Outgoing PM suggests new reform
ROME - Reuters
Italian Premier Monti says he is not siding with any party in elections. ABACAPRESS photoOutgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti posted his reform agenda online yesterday, urging Italians to join a debate on their country’s future as potentially bitter election campaign gets underway two months before Italy goes to polls.
Monti declared his availability on Dec. 23 to lead a reform-minded centrist alliance to seek a second term to complete the economic reform program begun when he took office just over a year ago. He has now thrown off his mantle of neutrality and entered a race that will be dominated by his tough reform agenda. He appears unlikely at this stage to return to office, but his involvement could help shape the agenda of the next government.
The Democratic Party (PD), which has pledged to maintain Monti’s broad reform course while giving more help to workers and pensioners and emphasising growth more, is favoured to win but may have to strike a coalition deal with the centre. In an open letter to Italians posted online and accompanied by a 25-page policy program, Monti said he hoped that the agenda would lead to an “open reflection” that would help shape the debate ahead of the election on Feb. 24-25. He urged a mix of budget rigour and structural reform as well as measures to crack down on corruption.