Fear of Markets: How Monti May Get His Way With the Politicians

Time has just published my story on the source of Mario Monti’s power:

The job that Italy’s Prime-Minister-in-waiting, Mario Monti, has been asked to do would be much easier if the country’s politicians were committed to instituting the reforms they say the country needs. On the other hand, if that were the case, the 68-year-old technocrat wouldn’t have the job at all.

Monti was called in from his sinecure at Milan’s Bocconi University precisely because the markets lost faith in the ability and willingness of Italy’s political class to institute the tax hikes, spending cuts and structural reforms needed to prop up the country’s financial foundations. “This is the major problem of any technical government,” says Giovanni Orsina, an expert in European politics at Rome’s LUISS University. “The reforms are too painful, so no one is ready to do them. But the technical government still needs votes in parliament and those voters are from political parties.”

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2099545,00.html#ixzz1nbejgqpe

Read the rest.