Rumors suggest that Italy is so desperate for money that it will try the full Monti*.
Mario Monti is about to be asked to try to form a government. Of course the actual negotiations have begun, except it doesn’t seem that Prof. Monti is inclined to negotiate. His position seems to be that Italian politicians totally blew it (correct) so they will let him try to fix things (good luck with that).
The rumored position of the Berlusconi has moved from the prime minister should be one of his guys, to he should name half of the cabinet to he should name at least someone (who would be Gianni Letta his Rove) to OK just don’t take away my TV (spoiled kids are that way).
Monti has already semi-officially announced that the new economics minister with be Guido Tabellini who is widely considered to be the most eminent Italian economist in Italy**. He is known for his work on how politicians do not serve the public interest (kids this was an original approach when he started — really).
The justice minister is likely to be a judge***. Monti is alleged to have specifically refused to negotiate with Berlusconi about any reforms to the Justice system (which has been repeatedly reformed in ways which keep Berlusconi out of jail).
The bit about TV is, sadly, not a joke. Monti is rumored to have agreed that he won’t change the regulation of TV. He also is rumored to have agreed not to change the horrible electoral law. I am summarizing Italian newspapers which report rumors.
I don’t know how it will turn out, but it seems to be a rather radical shift. The logic seems to be that members of parliament who know they will never be re-elected will do anything to avoid early elections (their salary is actually fairly high by Italian standards and Berlusconi supporters come cheap).
Both Monti and Tabellini are definitely right of center. The aim seems to be to reassure investors.
*Yes I wrote the post for the joke in the title. Have a problem with that ?
** There are many eminent Italian born economists who have escaped all over the world. Also there are eminent English economists and one Canadian economist who live in Italy. Finally I am reporting the general view and not making any personal evaluation.
*** the one sour note is “La quarta alternativa è quella di Carlo Nordio, magistrato inquirente a Venezia,” that is “the fourth alternative (for justice minister) is Carlo Nordio an investigating magistrate in Venice.” Nordio is a total hack. There is an interception of one of Craxi’s lawyers noting that he and Nordio (then as now a magistrate) were working together. Then he investigated cooperatives vaguely related to the Italian Communist Party over scandals which make Solyndra look scandalous (including was the tombola (bingo) money in a communist club kept separate from party money — really). If Nordio is justice minister than Berlusconi will have achieved his final aim of having one of his guys in the cabinet and continuing to use politicians to obstruct justice.