Europe’s political workshop

The unexpected stability of the government helps and fuels a profound political transformation.

Italy has been a political laboratory for years. In 2011, then president, Giorgio Napolitano, gave the rest of the world a lesson in Italian creativity applied in exceptional circumstances by making Mario Monti a life senator. This meant Monti became a member of Parliament, and then prime minister (with crossparty support), a move that avoided Italy filing for bankruptcy and the end of the euro.

Italian inventiveness was confirmed by the way Enrico Letta replaced Monti as prime minister. Letta was not even leader of the Democratic Party (PD) at the elections. Again, when Matteo Renzi succeeded Letta as prime minister, he was not even an MP when he declared it was time to rottamare, or “scrap”, the old leadership.

The country went through all this with remarkable continuity, considering the stakes. While Letta and Renzi are both elected politicians, overall they continued the general line forged by Monti’s ‘technocrat’ government, pursuing structural reforms and sound public finances.

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