The first time I interviewed Giulio Tremonti, he was in shirtsleeves and a pair of bright braces, puffing confidently on a cigar in Milan. At that time he was finance minister in Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right Italian government, and there’s no denying it, he looked every inch the part.
Now, as Italians prepare to vote in their April 13-14 election, Tremonti is playing a more populist tune. He’s just published a book, Fear and Hope, which lashes out at globalisation and condemns “the dictatorship of the market”. He also calls for a “new Bretton Woods”. Today’s Tremonti, some may think, has more in common with his protectionist political opponents on the Italian far left than with the Tremonti of 2003. Read more