Enter multiple symbols separated by commas

Italy Has Regained Respect: Mario Monti

Mario Monti, Prime Minister of Italy speaks at Special Address 'Leading against the Odds' 'at the Annual Meeting 2013 of the World Economic Forum.
Sebastian Derungs | World Economic Forum
Mario Monti, Prime Minister of Italy speaks at Special Address 'Leading against the Odds' 'at the Annual Meeting 2013 of the World Economic Forum.

Outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti on Wednesday defended his track record in leading Italy through the European financial crisis and told delegates at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the country had regained credibility in the eyes of investors.

"I can feel that Italy has gained back respect and confidence in its ability to bounce back. I see a very concrete interest of business and investors for the opportunities my country can offer for economic growth and innovation," Monti, who led a technocratic government for a year, said.

"The progress is not negligible...Structural reforms are important because they lay the foundation for future growth," he said.

(Read more: After Davos: Global Calm or Profound Change? )

Italy, like other euro zone nations, has implemented tough austerity measures to reduce its high levels of government debt. Investors pushed its borrowing costs ever higher as they lost confidence in former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's government to implement economic reforms.

The country is poised for elections in February. Monti will lead a centrist alliance, challenging Silvio Berlusconi and the center left Democratic party.

He paid tribute to the "resilience and maturity" of Italian citizens who "understood the need for change" and said their sacrifices in a difficult time had not been overlooked by the wider euro zone.

(Read more: Davos 2013 Live Blog )

He said he had never doubted that taking the reins in the midst of financial turmoil in Italy would be an uphill struggle.

Short termism meant that Italy had in the past not made the most of its euro zone membership and that it had wasted a primary surplus without delivering reforms, Monti said.

World's elite gathers for Davos 2014

  • Argentina, Buenos Aires

    The global elite have stumbled on an emerging market sell-off that served as a reminder of the risks the global economy still faces.

  • A logo sits on a sign at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014.

    Sure there was talk of women's issues at Davos but this female CEO says one of the questions she got asked a lot was: Are you here as a spouse?

  • The World Economic Forum logo in Davos, Switzerland.

    Here’s a five-point reality check for why people need to stop bashing Davos as an irrelevant gathering of the elite. By the executive director of Wharton's Risk Management Center.


  • What To Watch For at Davos 2013

    Maria Bartiromo and Steve Liesman discuss what they are looking forward to at the 2013 World Economic Forum.

  • Steve Liesman and Andrew Ross Sorkin discuss staying warm in twelve degree weather (hat or no hat...) at Davos.

  • Maria at Davos 2013

    CNBC's Maria Bartiromo reports from Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum, where CNBC will be interviewing some of the biggest names in business. She will be talking to George Soros, Jamie Dimon, Bill Gates and others.

Davos 2013: Behind the Scenes