Former European CB chief named Italy’s new prime minister

TEHRAN, Feb. 13 (MNA) – Mario Draghi, a former president of the European Central Bank, will be Italy’s next prime minister after presenting a national unity government that will be tasked with marshaling a recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

On Friday evening, Draghi met with Sergio Mattarella, Italy’s head of state, to formally accept his request to form a new government, having won the backing of almost every large political party, CNN reported.

Draghi will be sworn in at midday on Saturday, the president’s office said.

As one of Europe’s most highly regarded public officials, Draghi was unexpectedly called in by Mattarella earlier this month after the previous coalition collapsed in the middle of the latest pandemic wave.

After the meeting, Draghi announced his list of ministers, which includes a number of technocrats in central roles but is mainly made up of figures from the country’s largest political parties.

Like other countries around the world, Italy has been hit by a twin health and economic crisis, suffering more than 92,000 deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic and its deepest economic contraction since the second world war.

Draghi’s appointment will be the fourth time in three decades that a technocratic prime minister has taken charge following the premierships of Carlo Azeglio Ciampi in 1993, Lamberto Dini in 1995 and Mario Monti in 2011.

However, the list of ministers selected by Draghi is different from previous so-called technical governments by including a large majority of ministers from Italy’s political parties.

Unlike the previous experiment in technocratic government when the former European Commissioner Monti was tasked with enacting an austerity drive, Draghi instead will take charge of drawing up plans to spend more than €200bn of European Union recovery money.

He will also start his premiership as one of the country’s most popular politicians. An opinion poll, conducted by Demos earlier this month, showed that he had overtaken the outgoing prime minister Giuseppe Conte in national approval ratings.

MR/PR/FNA13991125000020

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