Italy’s new Prime Minister Mario Monti's government of unelected technocrats has won a vote of confidence in the Italian senate, as expected.
The upper House of Parliament gave its endorsement to the new administration by a vote of 281 to 25.
Monti, who has been entrusted to steer Italy out of a dangerous economic crisis, now faces a second vote on Friday in the lower house or Chamber of Deputies on Friday.
He has already presented his plan to resolve the country’s deep financial crisis, while students in Rome and elsewhere stage protests against the government’s imminent austerity measures and spending cuts.
If we fail, if we don't carry out the necessary reforms, we will also be subjected to much harsher conditions, Monti warned prior to the vote.
Overall, he promised to balance the budget by 2013 and slash the country’s massive debt--now totaling 1.9 trillion euros, or 120 percent of GDP--the second highest level in the Eurozone, behind only Greece.
Monti, who succeeded Berlusconi last week, has formed a cabinet consisting primarily of business executives, lawyers, bankers and academics, rather than career politicians.
Key members of the new cabinet include Corrado Passera, chief executive of Italy’s biggest bank, Intesa Sanpaolo group, who's now the chief of the new Ministry of Development, Infrastructure and Transport; Antonio Catricala, formerly the head of the anti-trust authority, who's now the cabinet under-secretary and Elsa Fornero, an economics professor, who's now the labor minister.
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.