Status: 02/12/2021 8:54 p.m.
He had only accepted the mandate to form a government with reservations, but Mario Draghi apparently succeeded. Tomorrow the broad-based Italian government of national unity is to be sworn in.
The former head of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, wants to become the new Italian Prime Minister. He informed the President Sergio Matarella. Draghi is due to be sworn in in his new office on Saturday.
At a press conference, Draghi presented the list of his ministers, who are also to be introduced into office on Saturday. The new government will be composed of politicians and experts.
Draghi had previously conducted intensive exploratory rounds with party representatives in Rome. He received a surprising amount of support both from the failed center-left coalition of Giuseppe Conte and from the right-wing conservative opposition. The government crisis in the middle of the pandemic had lasted since mid-January.
Vote of confidence in the next few days
Draghi also needs a majority in the two-chamber parliament to confirm his planned government after the appointment. For this and for his cabinet list he had explored the opportunities in many personal meetings and telephone calls. According to the constitution, a government must present itself to both chambers of parliament within ten days of being formed in order to maintain trust. The vote of confidence is expected at the beginning of next week.
Only the far-right Fratelli d’Italia had announced from the start that they would vote against Draghi. However, the behavior of the populist five-star movement as the strongest force in parliament has long been unclear. Founder Beppe Grillo advocated supporting the economist. The assumption of ministerial posts was also a goal.
In an online vote on Thursday, the majority of members voted to support Draghi. This was seen as an important signal for the ex-ECB boss. A wing of the party that is considered anti-elitist continues to reject this path. The five-star movement came to around 30 percent in the 2018 election and has so far ruled. The ir social democratic coalition partner, the PD, sided with Draghi early on. However, some PD politicians are alienating the idea of getting too close to right wing forces.
Matteo Salvini of the right-wing Lega, who had repeatedly called for early elections in the course of the government crisis, changed his position. He praised Draghi and promised “unconditional” support. He described the participation of ministers from his Lega, which was last in the opposition, as possible. Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative Forza Italia also wants to express his trust in Draghi.
Cabinet of politicians and experts
Some important ministers will remain in office under Draghi – such as Luigi Di Maio as Foreign Minister, Luciana Lamorgese as Minister of the Interior and Roberto Speranza as Minister of Health. Finance minister is to be Daniele Franco, previously director general of the Banca d’Italia.
According to Draghi’s plan, Marta Cartabia will be an expert in the post of Justice Minister. Cartabia was President of the Constitutional Court until September 2020. The previously much discussed Ministry for Ecological Renovation is also to appoint an expert in the form of the physicist Roberto Cingolani. Overall, however, there are more politicians than experts on Draghi’s list of ministers.
Most of the posts – four in number – go to the Five Star Movement, which is the strongest force in Parliament and to which Di Maio belongs. The Social Democrats (PD), the conservative Forza Italia and Salvini’s right-wing Lega will each provide three ministers. Matteo Renzi’s splinter party Italia Viva, which brought down the Contes government in mid-January when it left, has only got one job.
Draghi faced many challenges
President Mattarella had offered the 73-year-old, who has no political office in Rome, a mandate to form a cabinet after Conte’s resignation on February 3. Draghi had initially only accepted the order with reservations. The head of state spoke of a government “with a high profile” that must be put together to lead Italy out of the pandemic crisis.
Draghi named the health crisis triggered by Corona, a national vaccination program and the economic recession as the most important challenges. The new government will decide on the distribution of more than 200 billion euros in EU aid to bring Italy’s pandemic-stricken economy back on track. The government of the previous Prime Minister Conte broke up at the end of January in the dispute over the distribution of EU Corona aid.
Draghi wants to become prime minister and presents cabinet list
Jörg Seisselberg, ARD Rome, February 12, 2021 8:52 p.m.