Mario Draghi, the man who save the Euro as head of the European Central Bank, has today accepted a mandate from Italy’s president to try and form a new government that would guide the country out of the pandemic and through economic recovery. He will now have to give a government to a country that seems to have lost the road to common sense. With a politics that has appeared totally lost in recent weeks – in which the most incomprehensible crisis of the 67 majorities that have characterized Italy since the post-war occurred – he knew he couldn’t back down.
“To overcome the pandemic, to complete the vaccine campaign, to offer answers to the daily problems of the citizens, to relaunch the country are the challenges we face,” Mr. Draghi said after meeting with President Sergio Mattarella for more than an hour at the Quirinal Palace.
Italy, he said, faced a “difficult moment.” And he said he had accepted Mr. Mattarella’s appeal because the emergency “requires an answer equal to the seriousness of the situation.”
Until as recently as Tuesday, the idea of Mr. Draghi replacing Giuseppe Conte as prime minister remained a pipe dream for the many Italians frustrated with a governing coalition that seemed paralyzed by ideological schisms and incompetence, especially as the coronavirus pandemic raged and economic devastation set in.
Mr. Draghi is himself no political novice. He has served in past Italian governments, was a director of Italy’s treasury and knows well the machinery of government at both the European and Italian level.
His name has been mentioned for years as a potential candidate to replace Mr. Mattarella as Italy’s head of state in 2022.But now Mr. Mattarella himself has called on Mr. Draghi, whom he has publicly praised in the past, and brought him directly into the fray.
Party leaders on the right and left quickly expressed support for Mr. Draghi after it became clear that Mr. Mattarella would ask him to form a government.