Roughly since Rajoy is Spain’s prime minister and Monti is Italy’s prime minister, the risk premium of Spain’s debt has been higher than Italy’s. Before that, Italy’s had been above Spain’s for a while. That can be counted as the value of good leadership as opposed to bad leadership. However, the conclusion should not be that we should rush to find a good technocrat for Spain, but perhaps that we should rush to find a good politician for Italy. For Italy is a democracy after all, and at latest in 2013 the Italians will have to go to the polls and elect a new Parliament. Good technocrats are hard to find (the Greek one lasted a few months), and once found provide a brief breathing space. But at some point people vote for political parties, and the one that has a majority provides the prime minister. They better find a good one.
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