The new Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi will chair a meeting of his first cabinet in Rome on Saturday. Andrew Medichini / AP Hide caption
Andrew Medichini / AP
Andrew Medichini / AP
Mario Draghi, the famous economist Who is credited with saving the euro was sworn in as the new Italian Prime Minister on Saturday. His job will be to lead the country through the twin crises of the coronavirus and a crumbling economy.
Draghi, who previously served as head of the European Central Bank, took the oath of office with support from across the political spectrum, with support from all but one of Italy’s major parties. Twenty-three members of Draghi’s cabinet, including technocrats and a wide range of politicians, also took the oath of office on Saturday.
In addition to charting Italy’s course through the pandemic, Draghi is charged with spending around $ 240 billion, the EU’s one-time recovery fund to revive an economy tied to a recession. According to Reuters, the Italian economy is in its worst downturn since World War II.
An upturn in the Italian economy could benefit the entire euro area.
“Your experience will be extremely valuable to Italy and Europe as a whole, especially in these difficult times,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter.
Draghi must also lead Italy through the pandemic as the country reports one of the highest infection rates on the continent and is in a stalled vaccine rollout that is affecting most of Europe. But Draghi begins leading the 67th Italian government since World War II with broad political support, including from the Anti-establishment five star movementThis is the largest political group in the country’s parliament.
In choosing his cabinet, Draghi selected four members of the Five Star Movement. Eight cabinet positions went to technocrats, as Reuters reports, the rest went to parties that ranged from left-liberal to right-wing populist.
How BBC analysis indicates thisItaly’s political landscape is notoriously divided and unstable. Draghi is the country’s seventh prime minister in the past decade.
Draghi’s predecessor, Giuseppe Conte, resigned only weeks ago after arguing among factions over his handling of the pandemic.
Draghi faces parliamentary votes of confidence next week, and with only one major party not represented in his cabinet – Italy’s far-right brothers – he is likely to get the largest majority in Italian history. However, according to Reuters, some members of the Five Star Movement have said they could vote against Draghi and create internal divisions.