Italy’s new Prime Minister, Mario Monti, a former European commissioner, returned to Brussels earlier this week, pledging to give the EU a primary position in his government work. He also claimed that growth and fiscal discipline could complement each other.
“I don’t see any contradiction between rigor in public finance and growth via structural reform,” he said after a meeting with Jose Manuel Barroso, European Commission President.
Though little was truly established during the meeting, it was clear that relations between Rome and Brussels are on the mend since Monti replaced Silvio Berlusconi as PM.
“I and my government will be doing all that we can to place Europe at the heart of our activities,” Monti said.
Barroso has worked alongside Monti at the EU in the past, and their history was apparent in his attitude as well. “He has my full confidence and high personal esteem,” he said.