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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Italy has a new Prime Minister. And it's a surprise one...

Enrico Letta, deputy leader of Italy's centre-left Democratic Party and Pier Luigi Bersani's right hand, is very close to becoming Italy's new Prime Minister. He's currently meeting President Giorgio Napolitano (as you read this blog post), and will be given the mandate to form a new government.

Letta emerged as the main candidate in the last 24 hours. The fact that Napolitano has chosen Letta  is significant for at least two reasons:
  • Letta is undoubtedly a politician, as opposed to the previous favourite Giuliano Amato, who would have been seen as a technocratic Prime Minister. This means Napolitano has opted for a political solution to the post-election stalemate;
  • Letta is 47, and Amato is 75. So the choice made by 88-year-old Napolitano addresses the Italian electorate's call for a rejuvenation of the political system. This is significant in the 'old vs young' struggle that has characterised Italian politics recently.
We will provide more detailed analysis once Letta unveils his list of ministers. In light of his appointment as Prime Minister, we would now expect politicians rather than technocrats to grab ministerial posts - although we can't rule out the involvement of a couple of technocrats in the new cabinet. 

However, make no mistake: this move doesn't wipe out the deep divisions among the main political parties, and whatever shape the government takes, it won't be easy for Italy to continue with the reforms that the eurozone demands.

1 comment:

Rik said...

Again it is not that much important who will become the ministers.
Important is if they will be able to pass the necessary reforms. Which remains an as big if as ever.
Monti cs were perfectly able to do the reforms, effectively nearly everybody is.

The issue is if there is enough backing for that. And this time it will be even more difficult to tell that it are only technocrats than with Monti. Public will hold both parties accountable, especially when there is an alternative (Grillo). And even more when the way things have been done here look to be a perfect example of everything that is bad in Italian politics.

The cabinet will be unstable whoever is in it which makes getting reforms through as difficult as under Monti.
When a cabinet can be sent home any time subsequently elections can be around any corner, it simply becomes useless when it is clear that a large majority of the voters simply isnot ready for reforms.

They donot need a government they need a government that can reform and this is not one.