Markets and Eurozone leaders take another scalp
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi tendered his resignation late last night to President Giorgio Napolitano following the successful piloting of the latest austerity package through the lower house or Chamber of Deputies. The upper house or Senate passed the bill on Friday night. Berlusconi had said that he would go once the bill was passed.
This morning the president is having discussions with the Senate president and then all the key party leaders. It is thought that technocrat and economist Mario Monti may well become the next prime minister. Mr Monti is a past European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Financial Services and Taxation (1995 – 1999) and also European Commissioner for Competition from 1999 – 2004. He is an international advisor to Goldman Sachs. Mr Monti was made a Life Senator on Friday.
The president will be hoping that he can settle a new government today and prevent further volatility in the markets when they open tomorrow morning. At one point last week the Italian 10 year bond yields briefly went over the all important 7% mark at which point Ireland, Portugal and Greece were forced to seek EU and IMF support