Possible Berlos successor named senator for life
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.