Philip Pullella and James Mackenzie
November 13, 2011
Italy’s president raced to appoint an emergency government on Sunday to face a crisis endangering the whole euro zone and replace Silvio Berlusconi who resigned as prime minister to the humiliating jeers of thousands of protesters.
Just a few hours after central Rome echoed with street parties celebrating Berlusconi’s departure, President Giorgio Napolitano began a rapid round of meetings with political parties at his hilltop palace.
The consultations, much faster than is normal, are due to wind up at about 1700 GMT (12 p.m. EST), when Napolitano is expected to ask former European Commissioner Mario Monti to form a government largely of technocrats in time for the opening of markets on Monday.
Monti will push through reforms agreed by Berlusconi with euro zone leaders to cut Italy’s massive debt and revive a chronically stagnant economy.