Monday, November 28, 2011

Monti and the technocrats (by Pedja dell’Arno)

There have been several very interesting articles in La Repubblica by Eugenio Scalfari defending the democratic and political nature of the government presided by Mario Monti. The prime minister is not a party politician, but he has a political past insofar as he was European Commissioner and he made important contributions to the political debate in Europe such as the Monti Report. Scalfari argues that the Monti government is also the Napolitano government, in the sense that the President of the Republic has been directly involved in its composition. The former editor of the newspaper La Repubblica argues that a government that is appointed by the President of the Republic with the support of a majority of the Parliament, but without being negotiated in its details with the party leaders, is as democratic as any other government, and may even eliminate from Italian politics some of the features that have tarnished its reputation in the recent decades. Although a verdict will have to wait, the Monti government looks more promising than its counterpart in Greece, but it also has its dark spots. Paolo Flores d’Arcais recently criticized that the only Minister that Berlusconi managed to negotiate with and impose to Monti was the Justice Minister, and that the government had more than a fair share of officials linked to the Vatican. Last week The Economist argued that technocratic governments should be in office only under exceptional reasons and for a short period of time. Experts and lay persons should share the government of collective affairs in combinations that must be fine-tuned depending on place and time. But at the end, the citizens should be in control.

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