Position: Italian Prime Minister, Italian finance minister
Incumbent: Mario Monti
Born: Mar. 19, 1943
Term: Nov. 2011, next election due 2013
- Mario Monti was appointed by President Giorgio Napolitano
to lead a technocrat government, replacing Silvio Berlusconi who
lost his parliamentary majority as the euro debt crisis
threatened to push Italy's borrowing costs out of control. Monti
also holds the finance and economy portfolio. He has said he
intends to remain in office until the next scheduled elections
- Monti, a distinguished economist, served as a European
Commissioner between 1995 and 2005, first as internal markets
commissioner and later as competition commissioner, where he
made his name in high profile battles against corporate giants
Microsoft and General Electric. He was President of Milan's
Bocconi University before being named Life Senator by Napolitano
and asked to form a government after Berlusconi's resignation.
- Sober and reserved, in sharp contrast to his flamboyant
predecessor, Monti is known as a tough negotiator. He has close
connections to European policy makers from his time in Brussels
and is a former adviser to Goldman Sachs and Coca Cola and a
member of the Bilderberg group of business leaders and other
- Monti has pledged to restore confidence in Italy's public
finances through budget rigour, economic growth and social
fairness. Priorities include pension, tax and labour market
reform as well as education and getting more women into the
workforce. He has maintained Italy's target of achieving a
balanced budget by 2013 and has argued for greater economic and
fiscal integration between European Union member states.
Position: Bank of Italy Governor
Incumbent: Ignazio Visco
Born: Nov. 21, 1949
- Visco, formerly number three at the Bank of Italy, was
appointed to the top position in October as Mario Draghi left to
become President of the European Central Bank.
- A distinguished academic and former chief economist at the
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Visco
was previously the Bank of Italy's sherpa for G7 and G20
meetings and has wide international experience.
- He had good relations with former centre-right Economy
Minister Giulio Tremonti but was also well regarded by the
centre-left opposition, which welcomed his appointment.
- Considered open-minded and pragmatic, he is not ranked
among the hawks on the ECB's governing council.