Rome: Mario Monti, cited as possible
successor to Italy`s outgoing prime minister, was on Wednesday
named a senator for life, a move some said was a sign that he
will lead the next government in Rome.
The nomination by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano
shows that Monti is the president`s only choice to succeed
Silvio Berlusconi as prime minister, according to political
commentator Enrico Mentana.
The move "re-enforces the hypothesis that (Monti) will
be the one to lead a government at a high technical and
institutional level, which seems to me the only solution to
this dramatic situation", said Giuliano Cazzola, a lawmaker
from Berlusconi`s PDL party.
In a statement from the presidency, Napolitano said the
nomination was based on Monti`s "merits in the social and
scientific domains", adding that the Berlusconi co-signed the
Monti, a 68-year-old economist, is now the director of
Milan`s prestigious Bocconi University --- considered the
training ground for Italy`s financial elite.
Monti was put forward as European commissioner in 1994
by Berlusconi`s first government and stayed on in Brussels
even after Massimo D`Alema took over as prime minister --
burnishing his image as being above party politics.