Outgoing Italian prime minister Mario Monti said on Wednesday (January 9) Italian governments could be more audacious with reforms.
Speaking at the launch of his latest book in Rome, Monti said, in his experience, the Italian people supported reforms that would help the country grow and in the past too many governments had resisted change fearing they would lose electoral support.
"There is an understanding that reforms can help the country. It would be a great leap in the maturity of this country, which would push future governments, if we were a little more audacious. It is not as though in Italy we lacked government, but we lack government's serious reform policies," Monti said.
Monti was launching his latest book, written with French author Sylvie Goulard, entitled "Democracy in Europe."
Political analysts predict the most likely result of the February 24-25 election will be a center-left government, led by Democratic Party (PD) leader Pier Luigi Bersani, strong enough to rule alone or in coalition with Monti's centrists.
This prediction may reassure investors worried by the risk that center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi could play a role after the election, returning Italy to the kind of instability that forced his replacement by Monti in November 2011.
Monti's supporters, however, see a greater role for the former EU commissioner and think he will play a central safeguarding role.
"There isn't a crutch anymore for the center-left, but there is a new positioning with Monti taking over a role in the center and a role in the centre with Vendola and Bersani. This seems to be the point of this evening." Monti supporter Massimo Giovannini said after watching the book launch.
"I think today Italians need to have measured and balanced role models, we've had enough of clowns," said Monti supporter Silvia Danesi Squarzina.
Monti, who has rapidly thrown off his technocrat clothes and dived into campaigning since he announced his candidacy after Christmas, has accused Berlusconi of pushing Italy towards a "precipice" before he was forced out in 2011.