November 16, 2011 / 3:32 PM / 7 years ago

PENPIX-Ministers in new Italian government

ROME, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti unveiled his cabinet on Wednesday as he sets to work to restore market confidence in the country’s finances and stop its debt crisis from spiralling out of control.

Here are details of the ministers with major portfolios:

ECONOMY: MARIO MONTI

Monti said he would also take on the economy portfolio. A distinguished economist and former European competition commissioner, the 68-year-old Monti is president of Milan’s Bocconi university and honorary president of Bruegel, a European economic policy think-tank he set up in 2005.

He has written a stream of newspaper articles over the past months criticising outgoing prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and proposing sweeping reforms of Italy’s hidebound economy.

INTERIOR MINISTRY: ANNA MARIA CANCELLIERI

The 67-year old Roman ran the city of Bologna as special administrator in 2010 and resisted pressure from both the right and left to run as their candidate for mayor when her term ended this year. She was then appointed to run the town of Parma in a similar role.

She has also worked as Prefect — a government-appointed law and order official — in the cities of Genoa and Catania and championed women’s issues.

INDUSTRY AND INFRASTRUCTURE MINISTER: CORRADO PASSERA

Currently CEO of Italy’s biggest retail bank Intesa Sanpaolo , Passera is a U.S.-educated former consultant with Mckinsey who cut his teeth working as a top manager for Italian corporate raider Carlo de Benedetti in the 1980s and 1990s and entered banking only in 1996.

Part of a younger generation of dynamic managers, Passera, 56, has made little secret in the past of his sympathies with Italy’s centre left and was rumoured to have been considered for a cabinet position in Romano Prodi’s 2006 government.

In 1996 he became CEO of Banco Ambrosiano Veneto, one of the banks that later merged with other financial entities to become Banca Intesa. But he left in 1998 to run Italy’s ailing postal service Poste Italiane.

He has been at the helm of Intesa Sanpaolo since 2007, after the merger of Milan’s Banca Intesa and Turin’s Sanpaolo IMI.

ANTONIO CATRICALA, CABINET UNDERSECRETARY

A lawyer, Catricala has been head of the antitrust authority since 2005. Under the centre-left government of Romano Prodi he favoured liberalisation measures promoted by then-Industry Minister Pier Luigi Bersani, now head of the leftist Democratic Party. However, he was subsequently bitterly criticised on the left for decisions favourable to former Prime Minister Berlusconi’s Mediaset television empire.

JUSTICE MINISTER: PAOLA SEVERINO

A well-known criminal lawyer and professor, Severino is vice-president of Rome’s LUISS university. She has represented high-profile clients including banker Cesare Geronzi, former prime minister Romano Prodi and energy giant Eni. Her name had appeared recently as a potential successor to former Justice Minister Angelino Alfano who left the job to become secretary of Berlusconi’s PDL party.

DEFENCE MINISTER: GIAMPAOLO DI PAOLA

An admiral, he has been head of NATO’s military committee since June 2008. Prior to that, he was head of the Italian military’s Chiefs of Staff from 2004, serving under both centre-right and centre-left governments.

He has overseen planning for Italy’s participation in NATO, EU and coalition operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans, Pakistan and in the United Nations operation in Lebanon.

After joining the Italian navy in 1963, he rose through the ranks to become admiral in 2004.

FOREIGN MINISTER: GIULIO TERZI DI SANTAGATA

Terzi has been Italy’s ambassador to the United States since October 2009. The 65-year old is an experienced diplomat with a low public profile and no clear political leanings who began his career in the foreign ministry. Among a series of lengthy postings abroad, he has represented Italy in NATO, at the United Nations and in Israel.

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