Former central banker Mario Draghi formally accepted Friday the challenging task to forge Italy’s next government, unveiling a mixed Cabinet of technocrats and politicians from a broad coalition of support.
President Sergio Mattarella called in Draghi last week to be the new prime minister, asking him to solve a risky political crisis that plunged the country into chaos, just as it battles a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic and one of its worst economic crises.
After a week of tricky consultations with parties, almost all main political forces gave support to Draghi’s “national unity” government, promising a full backing in parliament.
Draghi’s team confirmed some of the outgoing-ministers in their roles.
Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio will stay on as foreign minister, while Giancarlo Giorgetti, a key figure in Matteo Salvini’s League party, will become industry minister.
Andrea Orlando, another key figure from the center-left Democratic Party, will be the new labor minister; while Marta Cartabia, former head of the Constitutional Court, will step in as new justice minister.
Draghi will keep a strong influence on key technical ministries such as economic and finance, which will be led by Daniele Franco, director general of the Bank of Italy, and very close to the new premier.
Roberto Cingolani, a technology innovation expert and physics professor, will head the newly-created Ministry for Ecological Transition, strongly requested by the Five-Star Movement, which has always made the green transition one of its top priorities.
The challenges that Draghi and his team of ministers have to face remain substantial. The government has to tackle dramatic health and economic crises after the COVID-19 outbreak took a devastating toll.
The Cabinet will have to pull together and implement a credible plan able to invest more than 200 billion euros in funds earmarked by the European Union for the post-pandemic recovery.
The broad support obtained by the new premier, also among center-right opposition parties, should allow him to easily win confidence votes in both chambers next week.
But the conflicting and often opposite positions that divide the uneasy coalition partners may easily re-emerge once the government is installed, risking to derail its political survival.
By Giada Zampano in Rome