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Italy’s Finance Minister Grilli to Leave Treasury After Vote

Italian Finance Minister Vittorio Grilli
Italian Finance Minister Vittorio Grilli. Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg

Italian Finance Minister Vittorio Grilli said he won’t seek a government post or a Treasury position after general elections due by May.

“I will go back to private citizenship,” Grilli, 55, said at an event in Verona, northern Italy today. He also said he won’t return to the Treasury, adding his successor as director general is a “valid” one. Grilli’s comments, originally reported by news agency Ansa, were confirmed by the minister’s spokesman Filippo Pepe.

Prime Minister Mario Monti picked Milan-born civil servant Grilli as his deputy at the finance ministry at the start of his caretaker government in November to aid efforts to lower Italy’s borrowing costs and stave off a European bailout. Grilli had been head of the Treasury under the governments of Silvio Berlusconi and Romano Prodi, helping to craft an emergency budget last year. Grilli replaced Monti as finance minister on July 11.

Grilli, who served as president of the European Union’s Economic and Financial Committee last year, started at the Treasury in 1993 and in 1994 was named to help carry out one of Europe’s biggest privatization programs in support of Italy’s entry for the euro. He was appointed by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, then-head of the Treasury, and oversaw the sale of stakes in in many state companies until 2000.

After a stint as managing director of Credit Suisse First Boston, Grilli returned to the ministry in 2002 as chief controller and became director general three years later. He holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Rochester in New York and has taught economics at Yale University and the University of London.

On March 23 Monti named World Bank Group Chief Financial Officer Vincenzo La Via as director general of the Treasury.

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