Former chief of the European Central Bank (ECB) Mario Draghi, who has been chosen as Italy’s next prime minister, has told the country’s president Sergio Mattarella that he has enough support to form a government.
The incoming Italian PM began naming the new coalition cabinet, which he hopes will be able to steer the country through the Covid-19 pandemic and stave off the worst of its economic crisis, on Friday evening.
After a week of negotiations, most of the leaders of Italy’s main political parties have given 73-year-old Draghi their backing to form a new government.
His government is now set to be sworn in on Saturday, with votes of confidence in the Chamber of Deputies and Senate likely to take place early next week.
Italy’s current foreign minister, the Five Star Movement politician Luigi Di Maio, will stay on in his role under Draghi’s government.
The new PM’s other appointments include Giancarlo Giorgetti of the right-wing Lega party as industry minister and Andrea Orlando of the center-left Democratic Party as labor minister.
As was anticipated, Draghi is also awarding top jobs to people from outside the political realm, including Bank of Italy chief Daniele Franco, who will become finance minister, and Roberto Cingolani, a prominent physicist, as minister for ‘green transition’.
Draghi has been widely credited with saving the Euro currency after he came to the helm at the ECB in 2011 amid the global financial crisis, earning him the nickname “Super Mario” in some sections of the media.
He replaces Italy’s caretaker PM Giuseppe Conte, who resigned in late January after his majority in the Senate crumbled amid opposition to his handling of the pandemic.
The new PM will have access to some €200 billion ($240bn) in EU recovery funding to help Italy alleviate its economic crisis.
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