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Mario Monti’s Nordic Dream

ROME – Mario Monti, Italy’s prime minister, is a self-styled German among Italian economists. As the European Union’s top competition official a decade ago, he was regarded as a very Anglo-Saxon regulator. Today, he is the most Nordic prime minister that Italy has ever had.

At the outset of his premiership six months ago, Monti declared himself to be an admirer of all things Danish – the country’s “society, economy, and civility.” The measures that he has introduced since coming to power – from pension reform to combating tax evasion – have displayed the rigor and transparency that one associates with northern European countries.