Mario Monti looks poised to become the new Italian prime minister. In sharp contrast to what happened in the last days of Silvio Berlusconi, there will be a strong political desire in Berlin, Paris and Frankfurt to help him stabilise the Italian crisis, and the markets may bounce on this mood. However, the eventual outcome will be determined not by personal relationships at the top of politics, but by economic fundamentals and by the way in which they interact with much wider political forces. On these grounds, Mr Monti’s Italian job looks to be facing daunting odds. Read more
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