Italy shows limits of technocracy

The EU should learn from Italy's mistakes. Technocracy is not a long-term option.

One of the lessons of the Italian elections is that technocracy has its limits. It is a lesson that the European Union finds hard to learn, but should nevertheless be heeded. In Italy, because of failures on both the left and the right, the political establishment resorted in late 2011 to a technocratic government led by Mario Monti, a former European commissioner. Monti gave the Italian economy the kind of medicine that it needs, but which his predecessor, Silvio Berlusconi, was not prepared to administer. The Italian economy may be better for it, but the electorate is not obviously grateful: in the election contest, Monti’s centrist coalition finished a distant fourth.

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