Berlusconi's likely replacement 'not scared of a fight'
Published 11/11/2011 | 05:00
MARIO Monti, above, the man most likely to lead Italy, is a hard-working technocrat who is not scared of a fight.
While he appears to be a sombre figure compared to Silvio Berlusconi, he battled successfully with Microsoft and other powerful multinationals when he served as European Commissioner in the early part of the last decade.
The father of two, who comes from a part of the Lombardy region close to Switzerland, is a northerner by birth and conviction. The Italian newspaper 'La Repubblica' recently described him as "one of the most Anglo-Saxon of Italy's public figures, in the sense of his aplomb, style and composure" and predicted he was likely to govern the country in an "Anglo-Saxon style".
A Yale-educated economist, he served as a member of the European Commission from 1994 and 2004 where he was one of the founders of the euro.
Mr Monti, who was made senator for life yesterday, has been a prolific newspaper columnist in recent years in an attempt to warn Italians about their country's problems.
Now, he must find new ways of raising taxes that are sure to be vastly unpopular with his compatriots. His challenge will be to introduce such measures without appearing to be a stooge for Brussels or Berlin.