Italy’s new prime minister

Mario Draghi is appointed Italy’s new prime minister, as he begins the construction of his cabinet

Photo by Alessandra Tarantino for AP.

— 2 minute read– by Sam Feierabend

Former European Central Bank President, Mario Draghi, has been appointed as Italy’s new prime minister after the previous administration collapsed due to rows concerning how the country would spend EU coronavirus recovery funds.

Draghi’s first action has been to create a new cabinet, which he hopes will work closely and effectively to help kick-start an Italian economy that is facing its worst economic crisis in decades. His picks for cabinet roles have aimed to create a buy-in amongst Italy’s main political parties who have previously squabbled over numerous political topics. This is a tactic often used by politicians rebuilding after a crisis, as it centralises the political spectrum to appease all parties and give them a say in key decision making. However, only 8 of the 23 cabinet members are women which has left many disappointed at the lack of diversity in the cabinet.

Key roles have been allocated to each party’s strength. The largest party in parliament, the Five Star Movement, have representative Luigi Di Maio as Foreign Minister, whilst Giancarlo Giorgetti, a key figure in the populist far-right League Party, will be Industry Minister. Andrea Orlando, from the centre-left Democratic Party will sit as Labour Minister.

Perhaps in Draghi’s most shrewd move, Daniele Franco has been appointed Finance Minister, despite having no political party affiliation. Franco is the current director-general of the Bank of Italy, so is more suitable for the role than many politicians.

Draghi himself has been touted as a safe pair of hands to spearhead Italy’s recovery from COVID-19, given his experience at the highest levels of the European Union. He has often been accredited with saving the Euro following the financial crash of the late 2000’s. All political parties, except the right-wing Brothers of Italy party, have sworn in the new government.

As Italy enters its 67th government since the Second World War, the politically hostile nation is now seemingly behind the new direction Draghi is starting. First and foremost, he will have to decide how to spend Italy’s £175 billion recovery package to ensure solid economic growth into the middle of the year. Fortunately, it appears as though he has overriding support to do so.