Mario Monti has been sworn in as Italy's new prime minister, and will lead Italy's 63rd government since the end of World War II.
Monti, a former European commissioner, said he would also take the post of finance minister as he unveiled his new cabinet.
The new government, which was sworn in before President Giorgio Napolitano, will be tasked with passing a strict austerity program aimed at restoring investor confidence that Italy will not go bankrupt and require an international bailout.
Experts have warned that a collapse of Italy -- the eurozone's third-largest economy -- could lead to the break-up of the 17 countries that use the EU's common currency.
The 68-year-old Monti was nominated to head an emergency government after scandal-marred Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi resigned on November 12 after weeks of market turmoil over Italy's high public debt and stagnant economic growth.
compiled from agency reports