ROME (AP) — For someone not running for political office, Premier Mario Monti has an awfully detailed plan for how to fix Italy's financial woes and bring the country and the rest of Europe back to economic health. And by Monday, not only had centrist leaders who want him as premier endorsed it, but so did the head of the Catholic Church in Italy.

Monti issued a 25-page agenda to "Change Italy, Reform Europe" late Sunday after announcing he had ruled out campaigning for February elections but would consider leading the next government if politicians who share his focus on reform request it.

Monti outlined the steps Italy must take to finish the reforms launched by his 13-month-long technical government to reign in Italy's public debt, spur economic growth and bring Europe's No. 3 economy out of recession.

"In a word, he will be the non-candidate candidate," commentator Massimo Franco wrote in leading daily Corriere della Sera on Monday.

Some of Monti's priorities include attracting greater foreign investment, investing in research, capitalizing on Italy's cultural treasures and fighting tax evasion and corruption. He called for incentives to hire women and young workers to help reduce the 36.5 percent youth unemployment rate. He said Italy's public administration — tarnished by recent embezzlement scandals — needed to be more efficient and transparent.

In an open-letter to Italians introducing the agenda, Monti said he wanted to contribute some ideas for Italy's future to help orient Italy's political leaders as they embark in what is expected to be a bitter two-month campaign before Feb. 24-25 elections.

"To those forces who show a convinced and credible adhesion, I would give my appreciation, encouragement, and if asked, my guidance," Monti wrote.

Italy's centrist leaders, who had sought Monti as their candidate for premier, discussed the document Monday morning and enthusiastically endorsed it, according to the ANSA news agency, citing sources within the movement.

And Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the head of the Italian bishops' conference, also gave it a thumbs-up, praising Monti's "innovative" proposals. Support from the church is considered vitally important for a government in largely Roman Catholic Italy, and the Vatican has made clear its admiration for Monti, a practicing Catholic.

"Mario Monti has presented a path, a way forward that is being offered to the serious and honest reflection of all," Bagnasco told state-run RAI radio.

Monti, a respected economist, was tapped last year to head a technical government after Silvio Berlusconi was forced to resign as premier amid market turmoil over his inability to pass necessary reforms to save Italy from Europe's debt crisis.

Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, Parliament's largest, had supported Monti's reforms, which included painful tax hikes and an increase in the retirement age. But Berlusconi yanked his support earlier this month, prompting Monti to resign and force elections about two months early.

Monti remains premier of a caretaker government. In an end-of-the-year press conference Sunday, he made clear his distaste for Berlusconi's antics, refusing the scandal-tainted ex-premier's offer to run on a center-right ticket.


Follow Nicole Winfield at


Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.




If you have any questions or concerns please email us on


  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.