Tag Archives: Monti

Introducing Italy’s unelected PM Mario Monti

It’s Europe’s second unelected Prime Minister in just a few weeks, as Italy’s government succumbs to the will of ‘the market’ and our ECB / IMF overlords. Following our look at the BBC’s introduction of Greece’s Lucas Papademos, here’s a quick look at their profile of Monti.

It’s the most glowing profile of a public official / unelected (or for that matter) elected official you’re ever likely to see. Here’s a quick selection of glowing tributes:

“Mr Monti is a well-respected economist, well connected to the upper ranks of the EU machine”

“he earned the nickname “Super Mario” for the way he took on vested interests”

“the soft-spoken economist from Lombardy”

“He is a tough negotiator, head of a university with the reputation for producing Italy’s finest thinkers.

“He has been seen as rather above politics”

Monti is though first and foremost a clean break from the past, all that bunga bunga stuff etc: “Monti is a stark contrast to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi”:

“Where Mr Berlusconi is colourful, controversial and out of favour with the markets, Mr Monti is a well-respected economist, well connected to the upper ranks of the EU machine.”

Later on in the article there’s a clue this break might not be as clean as first thought:

“He was nominated by Silvio Berlusconi, then – as now – Italy’s prime minister”

While Monti might be an economist, he is no ‘banker’s man’:

“At Yale, he studied under James Tobin, inventor of the “Tobin tax”, also called the “Robin Hood tax” – a proposal to tax financial transactions so as to limit speculation.”

The implication being that he is no soft touch for banks. He studied under a financial “radical”, so he is radical by association.

Yet Monti is the European Chairman of the Trilateral Commission, seemingly invited to join by┬áchairman of Goldman Sachs international, Peter Sutherland. Monti is also, in case you hadn’t guessed, “an international advisor to Goldman Sachs“.

Goldman Sachs’ convenient connections to the corridors of political power have been discussed at length by many commentators over the last few weeks, but little or none of this information and context manages to reach in to day-to-day reporting.


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