Italy's Monti Forms Politician-Free Government
He's sworn in as PM ... ciao, Berlusconi!
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 16, 2011 11:11 AM CST
Italy's premier-designate Mario Monti, center, sits, during a meeting with industrialists and union representatives at the Senate, in Rome, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011.   (Pier Paolo Cito)
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(Newser) – It's a big day for Italy: Economist Mario Monti has been officially sworn in as PM—formally ending Silvio Berlusconi's 17-year-long run of political dominance—and he formed a new Italian government that doesn't include a single politician. Instead, he drew from the ranks of bankers, diplomats, and business executives. Explaining why his Cabinet contained no one from Italy's fractious political parties, Monti said that his talks with party leaders led him to the conclusion "that the non-presence of politicians in the government would help it."

The 68-year-old former European Union competition commissioner told reporters he will serve as Italy's economy minister as well as premier for now as he seeks to implement "sacrifices" from across the political spectrum to heal the country's finances and set the economy growing again. President Giorgio Napolitano presided over the ceremony at the presidential palace hours after Monti formed the new government. Monti promised to be faithful to the country, to observe the constitution, and to work for the interests of the nation. He then shook Napolitano's hand.