Oops! New Italian government appoints wrong man

A misunderstanding meant Italy’s new technocrat government appointed the wrong man to a ministry position, according to reports.

Newly-installed Prime Minister Mario Monti said last month university professors would occupy over a third of the 17 positions in Italy’s new cabinet as part of a government of unelected experts. His aim was to reassure markets over Italy’s commitment to fiscal reform.

Professors were also appointed in more junior positions: university professor Francesco Braga was informed he was to become undersecretary for agriculture as part of the sweeping changes.

But Braga teaches at the University of Guelph in Canada and has spent the past 28 years living outside Italy. It soon emerged the Italians had meant to appoint Franco Braga, a professor at Sapienza University in Rome, to the role, according to the BBC.

Former European Commissioner Monti has managed to retain the confidence of markets for the moment as sentiment on the eurozone as a whole begins to improve.

Italian 10-year bond yields, which moved above 7% in the final days of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s rule in early November, have fallen sharply over the past week to sit at 6.5%.


This article was first published on Investment Week

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