Ex-EU bank chief Mario Draghi sworn in as PM of Italy

Last Modified Saturday, 13 February 2021 (17:44 IST)
Almost all main parties from across the political spectrum pledged their support to Draghi. The former banker is now expected to guide out of economic devastation brought on by the pandemic.(PIC-UNI)
Former chief was sworn in on Saturday as Italy's new prime minister.
The 73-year-old economist, credited by some with having saved the euro, will now be charged with political reform and leading Italy out of devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.
 
"I swear to be loyal to the Republic," Draghi declared before Italian President Sergio Mattarella during the inauguration ceremony broadcast live on television from the presidential palace in Rome.
 
Draghi is expected to oversee spending of more than €200 billion ($242 billion) in European Union recovery funds aimed at relaunching the country's economy.
 
The government must be approved by votes of confidence in both houses of Parliament early next week.
 
Draghi draws support across political spectrum
After more than four weeks of political crisis, Draghi on Friday agreed to serve as the head of a new national unity government in a meeting with Mattarella.
 
Draghi then assembled a government involving almost all of Italy's political parties. His Cabinet is a mix of technocrats, veteran politicians and existing ministers.
 
Only the ultra-right Fratelli d'Italia had announced from the beginning that its members would vote against his candidature. 
 
Leader of the 5-Star Movement Luigi Di Maio will remain foreign minister.Giancarlo Giorgetti, a senior figure in the League party, will be industry minister and Andrea Orlando from the center-left Democratic Party will be labor minister.
 
Marta Cartabia, who was president of the Constitutional Court until September 2020, will fill the post of justice minister.Only eight women were named in the 23-strong Cabinet.
 
Strong support
In an Ipsos poll published by the Corriere della Sera daily newspaper on Saturday, 62% of Italians surveyed said they supported Draghi.
 
The pandemic, which hit Italy one year ago, left more than 93,000 people dead and triggered Italy's deepest recession since World War II.
 
Many Italians hope they can count on Draghi's banking experience and his years working in the Italian civil service.
 
The government of Draghi's predecessor Giuseppe Conte, which had assumed office in September 2019, was the 66th in the Italian Republic. In mid-January, his coalition collapsed due to a dispute about the best way to disburse EU aid money to recover from the coronavirus crisis.(AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)