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Former EU Central Banker New Italy's Prime Minister


Italy's President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Mario Draghi after the swearing ceremony in Rome on Feb. 13, 2021. (AFP)

Former European bureaucrat began by expanding the government by one more ministry.

After weeks of political crisis, Italy has a head of government again. President Sergio Mattarella swore in Rome the former head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, as the new Prime Minister. He leads a cabinet made up of politicians from left and right parties as well as experts.

On Thursday, the five-star movement was the last major party to vote in an online vote in favor of joining the new coalition alliance and thus paving the way for a government of national unity. "I swear to be loyal to the republic," stated Mr. Draghi, who now has to face votes of confidence in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

The critics stated the great challenges await new Prime Minister and his expanded cabinet: he has to find solutions to the health and economic crisis in the country. Italy - like many other countries in the European Union - is struggling with a sluggish corona vaccination campaign and urgently needs the European Union's corona aid payments of 220 billion euros.

For these tasks, Mr. Draghi not only has the support of the M5S, but also the center-right party Forza Italia of the former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and the small party Italia Viva of the former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The far-right Fratelli d'Italia party announced that it would remain in the opposition after Salvini and Berlusconi broke away from the right-wing alliance to support Mr. Draghi.

A nano technologies expert as environment minister, an extra department for tourism

The most important man in the cabinet is likely to be Economics and Finance Minister Daniele Franco. He already served Mr. Draghi as director-general of the Italian central bank, the head of which the future head of government was once. Mr. Roberto Cingolani, an expert in nanotechnology, will head the Ministry of the Environment. His area of ​​responsibility includes the EU requirement, according to which at least 37 percent of the funds from the mid-pandemic reconstruction fund must be put into environmental protection measures.

Mr. Draghi is also introducing a separate tourism department, dividing the Ministry of Culture. Proponents of the government said, the future head of government is giving tourism, which accounts for 13 percent of Italy's gross domestic product, a high priority. But critics warned against the spending hikes and possibly higher taxes.

The 73-year-old succeeds Giuseppe Conte, whose coalition broke at the end of January in the dispute over the distribution of EU mid-pandemic aid. The splinter party Italia Viva von Renzi had left the coalition. President Mattarella then spoke out in favor of a government of experts led by Mr. Draghi.


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