Super Mario steps in as Italian PM

Economist and former European commissioner Mario Monti has been nominated to take over as Italy's prime minister.

Dubbed Super Mario for his work in international finance and as European commissioner, Monti's appointment is expected to usher in a new era of sobriety to Italian politics.

Getting down to business: New Italian PM Mario Monti said he intended
to restore the country to its former glory and is ready for the challenge.

After a frenetic weekend during which parliament passed the reforms and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi stepped down to the jeers of hostile crowds, president Giorgio Napolitano asked Monti to form a government, expected to be composed largely of technocrats.

The respected economist, said he would work urgently to form a government and is likely to name around 12 ministers within days.

"I intend to fulfil this task with a great sense of responsibility in the service of our country. In a moment of particular difficulty for Italy, in a turbulent situation for Europe and the world, the country needs to meet the challenge," he said after his nomination.

"We owe it to our children to offer them a future with dignity and hope," he added.

After nominating Monti, the president said that Italy must make an extraordinary effort to overcome the crisis and to restore the trust of investors and European institutions. 

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