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Italy: Mario Draghi, Former ECB President, Receives The Mandate To Form A New Government

The meeting between the former President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi and President Sergio Mattarella took place today at noon. Draghi received the mandate to form a new “high profile” government after the majority parties failed to find an agreement to end the crisis.

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Teresa Marvulli
Teresa Marvulli
Italian journalist based in the UK. I trained at City, University of London and I write about the environment, Italian politics and current affairs with a focus on the EU.

ITALY. Rome: President Sergio Mattarella summoned the former president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi today, 3rd February at 12 pm. After just over one hour of talks, the Italian President has given to Draghi the mandate to form a new government.

The President’s official page tweeted: “The President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella met this morning at Quirinale Palace professor Mario Draghi, to whom he gave the mandate to form a new government. The professor has reserved the right to accept.”

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Yesterday, Sergio Mattarella met with Honourable Roberto Fico, the lower-house speaker.

Mr Fico announced that the majority parties didn’t find an agreement to form a new government and end the crisis after two days of intensive talks.

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Thus, Mattarella had then two alternatives: call for the elections (as asked by the far-right parties) or give a mandate to a “high profile” technocratic government.

In last night’s speech, he explained why the elections wouldn’t be in the country’s best interest at this historic moment.

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“I have the duty to emphasise that the long period of the election campaign- and the resulting reduction in government activity- would coincide with a crucial moment for Italy’s future.”

He then highlighted that, in the next few months, the government will need to be cohesive and “provide a quick response to the serious ongoing emergencies that can’t be postponed.”

Furthermore, the President asked all the political parties in Parliament to back the new “high profile” government.

The first words

As reported by Italian newspaper il Corriere Mario Draghi in his speech at the end of the meeting has thanked the President Mattarella and said:”It’s a difficult moment and I answer positively to the Head of State’s call.

“Our challenges are ; to win the pandemic, to complete the vaccination plan, to meet people’s needs and to relaunch the country. We have the amazing resources coming from the European Union and we can do a lot for the future of the country.”

He will know start the consultations with the Parliament and, according to the outcomes, will accept or reject the mandate.

Who is Mario Draghi?

Mario Draghi is a well-known economist who served as President of the European Central Bank between 2011 and 2019. He led the institution through the peak of Europe’s debt crisis in 2012.

On 26th July 2012, at a speech in London, Draghi pledged to do “whatever it takes” to preserve the euro.

A week after his speech the ECB announced a plan to buy the bonds of its distressed countries. The plan was never actually used, but the “promise was enough to calm investors and bring bond yields across the eurozone”, as stressed by Quartz.

Draghi has also served as Governor of the Bank of Italy from 2005 to 2011.

The challenges

Movement 5 Starts has already announced, through his spokesperson, Vito Crimi, that it won’t back a technocratic government.

Crimi wrote of Facebook: “….Movement 5 Starts, already during the consultations, has shown that the only possible way would be a political government. Therefore, it won’t vote for a technocratic government led by Mario Draghi.”

If Draghi manages to form a government and become Prime Minister, he will face some of the most severe challenges since WWII. In fact, Italy is going through its greatest economic crisis since the war.

Draghi would also have to come up with a plan on how to spend the 2000bn euros of the European Union Recovery Fund.

The country is still fighting against Covid-19 and the consequences of the pandemic. Italy has recorded 89,344 deaths since the beginning of the emergency.

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