Sunday, April 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Monti says he is open to leading next government

ROME — After keeping Italians, and the rest of Europe, in suspense for weeks, caretaker Premier Mario Monti on Sunday ruled out campaigning in February elections, but said he would consider leading the next government if politicians who share his focus on reform request it.

The decision positions him to take the helm again without having to get into the political nitty-gritty of an election – preserving his image as someone above the fray who can make tough decisions on imposing austerity. His previous measures have boosted confidence in Italy’s finances, and fellow European leaders have made no secret they want to keep them in place.

Silvio Berlusconi, the scandal-tainted ex-premier considering another run, commented scathingly on Monti’s openness to another term.

“I had a nightmare – still having a government with Monti,” the media mogul said in an interview on state TV. He has said in the past that he would run again if Monti did not, but made no commitment Sunday about his own political future.

Monti, who after his resignation Friday is continuing in a caretaker role, ruled out heading any ticket – even a center-right grouping that Berlusconi said he would be willing to back.

But the 69-year-old economist made it clear he was willing to take another turn in power.

“If one or more political forces is credibly backing (my) agenda or even has a better one, I’d evaluate the offer,” Monti said during a news conference.

“To those forces who demonstrate convincing and credible adherence to the Monti agenda, I am ready to give my appreciation, encouragement, and if requested, leadership, and I am ready to assume, one day, if the circumstances require it, the responsibility that would be entrusted to me by Parliament.”

Monti refused to head any ticket himself, saying “I have no sympathy for ‘personal’ parties.”

Italy is struggling to shore up its finances and emerge from recession, a challenge made harder by its volatile politics. The country has had dozens of governments over the years that let tax evasion spread, avoided unpopular reforms like raising the retirement age, and allowed public spending to balloon.

Monti was appointed in November 2011 to head a non-elected government with the goal of saving Italy from a Greece-style debt debacle after financial markets lost faith in his populist predecessor, Berlusconi.

Berlusconi triggered Monti’s resignation last week, a few months ahead of the term’s end, when he yanked his Freedom Party’s support in Parliament for the government. Parliament was then sent packing last week by Italy’s president, and elections scheduled for Feb. 24-25.

Monti’s announcement Sunday pleased some parties but irked others.

“Yet again, Monti shows himself to be arrogant and (Pontius) Pilate-like,” said Antonio Borghesi, a leader of the small center-left party that refused to back him during Monti’s 13 months at the head of a non-elected government. “He won’t directly commit himself, but he doesn’t rule out that his name be used by others who share his agenda and he gives his willingness, if asked, to again be leader the country.”

The tiny centrist Italy Future party, meanwhile, hailed Monti as a “great political leader and international statesman,” and said in a statement: “We reiterate our willingness to back with pride the agenda of Premier Monti.”

The party’s leaders include pro-Vatican politicians and industrialists, notably Luca di Montezemolo, president of Ferrari, the Italian Formula One racing team.

Monti said he was spurning Berlusconi’s offer to sit out the election if Monti would head a center-right ticket. He expressed bewilderment at Berlusconi’s sharp condemnation of his economic policies and his seemingly contradictory offer to back another Monti-led government.

“Yesterday, we read that he assessed the work of the (Monti) government to be a complete disaster. A few days earlier I read flattering things,” Monti said of his predecessor. The logic “escapes me” Monti said, drawing chuckles.

Berlusconi has said he would try for a fourth term as premier if Monti doesn’t run, even though he continues to face several legal and sex-related scandals.

Monti praised Parliament for backing his government’s recipe of spending cuts, new taxes and pension reform, which he said saved Italy from the debt crisis.

“Italians as citizens can hold their heads up high in Europe,” Monti said, noting Italy had avoided the bailouts that Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus have had to take.

Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano dissolved Parliament after Monti resigned Friday following approval of the country’s national budget law. Monti noted that as a senator-for-life, he remains in Parliament and doesn’t need to run for a seat in the legislature.

Voter opinion polls indicate a centrist ticket backing Monti would take about 15 percent of the vote, meaning any government he heads would need support from either of Italy’s two largest political groupings: the center-right, led by Berlusconi, or the center-left, led by Pier Luigi Bersani.

After Monti’s announcement Sunday, Bersani, whose forces turned out to be Monti’s staunchest proponent this past year, vowed to keep up the premier’s anti-crisis efforts.

By declining to directly campaign for February’s balloting, Monti avoids a direct clash with him. On Sunday, Monti would only would say that Bersani is a highly “legitimate candidate for premier of a coalition.”

In an interview on state TV later Sunday, Monti declined to say if he thought his agenda would get more backing from Bersani’s or from Berlusconi’s supporters.

Some had speculated that Monti had his sights set on the Italian presidency, since Napolitano’s term ends this spring. But Monti ruled that out.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Bay Area makes growth plans

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Supervisor candidates vary on Plan Bay Area

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Earth Day means cleanup Day for Suisun City

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Hop to it: Couple lights up home, yard for Easter

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1

Ranking the best Bay Area athletes

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Piano scholarship competition set in Vallejo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

The Edge hosts Easter egg hunt

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3

 
Alooma Temple keeps children in mind

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Fairfield author to speak at women’s expo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
The resurrection has changed the lives of Christians

By Perry W. Polk | From Page: C3

 
Understanding your health insurance

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: D4

 
Armijo graduate completes basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: C4

Highway 12 paving to slow traffic east of Rio Vista

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A5

 
Record Store Day a commercial hit

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Easter egg hunt brings out the smiles

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Dutch Bros. joins Fairfield coffee corridor

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B7 | Gallery

City sets plan to dispose of property assets

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7

 
Suisun City police log: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Counties tell Brown they need money for his law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
San Francisco probe leading to entrapment claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Exhibit recreates Warhol’s 1964 World’s Fair mural

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NASA’s space station Robonaut finally getting legs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Documents detail another delayed GM recall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

At barricades, Ukraine insurgents await Easter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Official: 3 bodies retrieved from inside ferry

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Costa Rican a celebrity after certified miracle

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14 | Gallery

.

Opinion

Government … for the government?

By Bill James | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoons for April 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Question of the week: Will Flight 370 be found?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Neighborhood speeders don’t get it

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Why would a person do this?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for April 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Jeb Bush, love, and today’s GOP

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A9

Statistical frauds distort equal-pay debate

By Thomas Sowell | From Page: A9

 
Are government ‘carrots’ fair, worthwhile?

By Brian Thiemer | From Page: A9

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Book details lives of cloistered nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Bill Nye says he underestimated debate’s impact

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Horoscopes for April 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D4

 
Pete spends weekends at my house but he never invites me to his

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D4

.

Entertainment

Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers has book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Tartt, Goodwin finalists for Carnegie medals

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

New book on fracking illuminates pros, cons

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Sports

Kings, Sharks look to put Game 1 in past

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Stults, Padres hand Giants third straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

A’s score 3 in 9th, rally past Astros 4-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Warriors beat Clippers 109-105 in playoff opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Hawks take 1-0 lead by rolling past Pacers 101-93

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raptors GM Ujiri uses profanity about Brooklyn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Williams scores 24 as Nets beat Raptors 94-87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Durant leads Thunder past Grizzlies 100-86

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Federer beats injured Djokovic to reach final

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Donald shoots 66, takes lead at RBC Heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Big names among prospective Buffalo Bills buyers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Indians set two new school records for track

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Wie shoots 67, wins LPGA LOTTE Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Travis Bowl Highlights

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

Rapids, Earthquakes play to scoreless tie

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Stars Recreation bowling results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

Jimenez leads Langer by 1 shot in Greater Gwinnett

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Award-winning archery champ shoots with his teeth

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Survivors keep busy as Boston Marathon approaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Business

US delays review of contentious Keystone pipeline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Why high oil prices are actually good for airlines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Subscription sample boxes shake up beauty routines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Girls from modest families get lift in technology

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

Haunted house part of San Antonio apartment lofts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

 
Recalls this week: lanterns, exercise devices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

Review: Siri-like Cortana fills Windows phone gap

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

 
.

Obituaries

James Leroy Barbour

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
William Paul Wehrly

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Sealwyn Shirley Brucefield Shepherd Malkiewicz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Anne Irene Elizabeth Fulgoni

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Margaret Elizabeth Silva

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Lloyd G. Hoffmeister

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Ramon Isidro

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

 
Rogelio Tinoco-Zamudio

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics