Tremonti sees instability after Italian vote

Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:10pm EST
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By Gavin Jones

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's national election this weekend will produce a weak, unstable and probably short-lived government, former economy minister Giulio Tremonti said on Friday.

Tremonti, who is running at the head of a small party of his own, said that even if the centre left led by Pier Luigi Bersani confirmed its opinion poll lead and won a majority, it would be too small and fragile to produce an effective administration.

"Italy's economic problems are huge, and you cannot solve huge problems with a small majority," said Tremonti, who served as economy minister under former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The euro zone's third largest economy has posted six consecutive quarters of contraction, its longest recession for 20 years, and its huge public debt, the second highest in the euro zone after Greece's, is continuing to climb.

Tremonti has formed his own party to contest the election, called "Work and Freedom". It is allied with the pro-devolution Northern League for whom he is the official candidate for prime minister.

He said that the outcome many investors would favor, an alliance between the centre left and outgoing technocrat Premier Mario Monti, might get off the ground but ideological and policy differences were too great for it to last long.

"You don't just have to muster a majority after the election, you have to keep that majority and use it to make difficult decisions day after day," he said. "It's impossible that the centre left will be able to do that."


Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti looks on during a voting session in Rome November 11, 2011. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini