Friday October 20th 2017

New Leadership in Greece and Italy

Free News Press – As lawmakers in Italy and Greece approve new austerity measures, both countries accept new leadership.

Last week Italian 10-year note yields exceeded seven percent sending stock markets around the world into a tailspin. Some economists believe that Italy is too big to fail and too big to bailout.

The former Prime Minister (PM) of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, made a deal with the Italian Senate and the Chamber of Deputies to step down if they approve a set of new austerity measures.

Both legislative houses approved the new decree raising the retirement age from 65 to 67 in 2026 and the sale of state assets. Berlusconi stepped down over the weekend and Italy’s President, Giorgio Napolitano, invited Mario Monti to become the new PM of Italy.

Analysts believe Monti, a former member of the European Commission, to be a good choice. Fabio Fois, a Barclays Capital strategist, said he welcomed the developments and believes a “technocratic” government will have a better chance of success.

In Greece Lucas Papademos has been chosen as the new Prime Minister. Papademos is a former European Central Bank (ECB) Vice President and a graduate of Harvard. He is taking the place of George Papandreou who sent markets reeling two weeks ago after proposing a referendum on the European Union bailout package.

Papademos will be presenting his policy platform to the Greek Parliament this week and vows to keep Greece on the euro.

Image: Left Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and Right Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti (courtesy: wikimedia)

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