Professor Monti has handed Italy back into the hands of President Napolitano. It is in a far, far better state than it was a 13 months ago. Whether or not Monti will decide to take a far, far better rest and return to the Bocconi is yet to be revealed, despite the media elaborations over the last few weeks.
Mario Monti was not alone in what was achieved. The list of ministers and technical advisors is long and distinguished, though not part of the Italian political world. Work, and earnings, were put aside in the huge effort to salvage the country from Berlusconi and the gangsters', and Bersani and the unions', wreckage. Lawyers, accountants, scientists, academics at the levels Monti was able to call upon do not work for government wages. But they did, for Italy.
There has been not one word of thanks, nor acknowledgement of the extraordinary effort that was put in by all these people as well as the officers of the administration, the carabinieri, the police, the doctors and teachers, the mass of workers in the private and state sectors. Nothing. As the ministers formally thanked Parliament for any support that has been given they were met with empty benches or, in some cases, abuse.
Already the politicians are hurrying to heap rebuke and accusations of intellectual incompetence if not falsity on those who have saved their bacon. No wonder Monti himself is considering most carefully if he even wants to know such people as the brute-faced woman Camusso roaring from the trade union deadlands about workers spontaneously applauding our former prime minister when he visited the Fiat factories at Melfi; the economic idiocies being emitted by the 'Democratic' Party hack Fassina who would fail to be even admitted as a student of the Professore yet pretends to the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer; the ranting Northern Leagues placeman resenting the loss of regional client-jobs who caused the out-going Minister of Labour to physically block her ears at his insults in the Lower House. Some of these people and their ministers risked a lot - in the case of the Home Secretary you can imagine hauling off all those mafiosi to prison, the Minister of Justice charging and trying all those corrupt 'untouchables'. It was very noticeable that, apart from Monti himself, some of the hottest seats were being sat in by women - learned, brave women not trade union time-servers - who did what needed to be done.
Italy could have done a far, far better figura than to let them leave the stage to indifference and worse.