Mario Draghi’s Italian government ready to face great challenges

It is a multicolored government in which all the major Italian political formations are found, from the 5 Star Movement (M5S) to the League (far right), including Forza Italia, on the right, of Silvio Berlusconi, and on the left, of the Democratic Party (PD) and the Italia Viva party of Matteo Renzi. The only exception is the post-fascist party, Fratelli d’Italia led by Georgia Meloni. After presenting his program on Wednesday February 17, the new head of the Italian government Mario Draghi obtained the confidence vote of the Senate, with 262 votes in favor, 40 against and two abstentions.

The Chamber of Deputies will vote on confidence on Thursday, the final step in conferring full legitimacy on the government.

→ READ. Italy: the 5 Star Movement says “yes” to Mario Draghi

In this new team, eight out of 23 portfolios are entrusted to technocrats, especially strategic positions. The economy is in the hands of Daniele Franco, very close to the new prime minister and one of the best public finance experts on the peninsula, while the new ministry for ecological transition has at its head the physicist Roberto Cingolani, responsible since September 2019 of technological innovation at the Italian aeronautical giant Leonardo.

Among the other ministries, the president of the council chose competent personalities in all the parties which offered him their support, without however appealing to the leaders.

The passage before the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies is only a simple formality. The political parties which support the Draghi government together have 545 deputies out of 630, or 86.5% of the seats in the Chamber of Deputies, and 266 senators out of 321, or 82.9% of the seats in the Senate of the Republic.

Titanic task

But the task that awaits ” Super Mario “, his nickname in reference to the rescue of the euro zone when he was president of the ECB, is titanic. Italy is one of the countries most affected by the health crisis. The number of victims of the pandemic is approaching 100,000 dead, and the third largest economy in the euro area recorded one of the worst GDP drops for countries with the single currency in 2020, with a plunge of 8.9 %.

→ PORTRAIT. Mario Draghi, from the euro zone to Italy

For years, the country has lagged behind economically, for lack of structural reforms. And as if that weren’t enough, he recorded the worst fall in his birth rate in 2019: “This is the seventh year in a row that Italy has set a new negative birth record”, notes the transalpine geopolitical review Limes. In five years, the country has lost half a million inhabitants, under the combined effect of the drop in births and the increase in departures abroad, not offset by immigration.

In this gloomy landscape, Italy looks at the European Union through the eyes of Chimene. It should benefit from a windfall of more than 200 billion European funds, conditional on the presentation in Brussels, by the end of April, of a detailed expenditure plan. Nothing infeasible, that’s probably what delights the financier and writer Guido Maria Brera who writes on Tuesday February 16 in La Stampa : “In the dance of the stars, there are precious moments in which the stars align. These are expected and rare events. Today, for the first time in decades, something similar seems to be emerging in the skies of our country. “


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