Mario Draghi wins support for government formation in Italy

Mario Draghi, the respected economist who headed the European Central Bank, got enough support on Friday to form a government of national unity with broad support in Parliament in hopes of extricating the country from the coronavirus crisis and the economic damage caused by the epidemic.

Mr Draghi accepted a mandate from the Italian president, Sergio Mattarella, to form a new government and seek a vote of confidence in Parliament. But His ascent It has already reshaped the country’s fragmented political landscape.

The new government is expected to prioritize the Italian vaccination campaign, expand welfare protection for the unemployed, and increase support for healthy companies and education. Mr Draghi is also likely to deal with measures that Europe has long pressured Italy to implement, such as streamlining the bureaucracy, making the justice system more efficient, and instituting tax reform.

The new government will include mostly politicians, but also some technocrats such as Daniel Franco, director general of the Bank of Italy, as economy minister, and Marta Cartabia, former president of the Italian Constitutional Court, as minister of justice. Mr. Draghi kept some ministers from the previous government in key positions, such as the head of the Ministry of Health.

The government brings together an unexpected array of competing parties on both sides of the political spectrum, from the historic liberals to the anti-establishment movement and the far right.

The left-wing Democratic Party will join the National League, Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right Forza Italia and the populists of the Five Star Movement. Luigi Di Maio, the current foreign minister and a prominent five-star official, has in the past described Berlusconi, a media mogul and former prime minister, as a “traitor”.

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Last week, Mr Mattarella, the president, called for the formation of a high-level government after political leaders failed to reshuffle Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s wobbly coalition government. It was Mr. Conti Overthrown After Matteo Renzi, a minority party leader and another former prime minister, withdrew his support.

Mr Draghi received enthusiastic support from the pro-European and centrist Italian powers representing the country’s business elites. He also won the support of the populist Five Star Movement which, while Bleeding of support in opinion pollsIt remains the largest party in Parliament.

“Our destiny is not to disengage,” Luigi Di Maio, the outgoing Italian foreign minister from the Five Star Movement, said in a Facebook video, adding that it would not be forgiven for allowing other parties to spend European relief money that Italy would receive. “I think we should participate.”

But the populist party gave final approval to Mr. Draghi’s government only Thursday night, after he said that the majority of its core members had agreed to join the government.

Even Mr. Conte, the outgoing prime minister who initially hoped to have the opportunity to form the new government through a reshuffle, said he would vote for Mr. Draghi’s government.

“There are needs so urgent that in any case it is good to have a government,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

Leader of the National League, Matteo Salvini, I also decided to collaborate. Had he opposed the new government, he would have risked spoiling his powerful base in industrialized northern Italy.

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Mr. Salvini also took the opportunity to express his opinion on the grand national recovery plan that Mr. Draghi will be running in the coming months.

“We can be part of a government that thinks about growth,” Salvini said during a press conference on Tuesday. “We trust Professor Draghi.”

For Mr. Salvini, who in 2018 wore the “Enough Euro” shirts and defined the European Union as “a pit of snakes and jackals”, the endorsement of the former head of the European Central Bank represents a fundamental shift. Even on the issue of immigration, it appears that conversations with Mr Draghi have already softened his usually harsh language.

“Regarding immigration, I just want a European approach,” he said.

By doing so, Mr. Salvini indicated that he was prepared to compromise even in his most important battle in recent years, the one that helped his party gain support in public opinion as well as in elections.

“Draghi’s appointment has already had an effect,” Andrea Orlando, Democratic Deputy Secretary, He wrote on Twitter last week. “Salvini became pro-European within 24 hours.”

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