New government

Italy’s new government to deal with Covid and economic recession

Outgoing Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (left) with new Prime Minister Mario Draghi in Rome on February 13, 2021
Outgoing Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (left) with new Prime Minister Mario Draghi in Rome on February 13, 2021 Andrew Medichini POOL/AFP

Italy’s new prime minister Mario Draghi and his cabinet of 23 ministers were sworn in at a ceremony Saturday in the presidential palace. Soon afterwards the first cabinet meeting was held at Palazzo Chigi, the government’s headquarters in Rome.

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Draghi opened the meeting with a speech outlining what the new leadership’s priorities would be,including returning the country to a "situation of security", thanks to the work of a united team that would have "no party interests".

He added that it would be an “environmentalist government”.

The new government, Italy’s 67th since the end of WWII, is still required to pass confidence votes in both houses of parliament, which will take place next week.

The former head of the European Central Bank, Draghi has obtained the endorsement of parties across the political spectrum so he is expected to win the votes.

He has formed a broad-based government made up of politicians and technocrats in key posts.

The Economy Ministry post goes to 67-year old Daniele Franco, director general of the Bank of Italy and a former colleague of the premier, at an important time for Italy, which is in the midst of a serious economic recession with more than 400,000 people having lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

EU Recovery funds

Italy must also take decisions and inform the European Union on how it plans to spend the more than 200 billion euros it will be receiving as a recovery fund.

There are only 8 women in the new line-up. Marta Cartabia, the first woman to be president of the Italian constitutional court, will run the Justice Ministry while Luciana Lamorgese, who already held the position in the previous government of Giuseppe Conte, will run the Interior Ministry.

Other ministers from the last government were also reconfirmed including Luigi Di Maio at the Foreign Ministry, Roberto Speranza at the Health Ministry and Dario Franceschini at the Culture Ministry.

Two new roles also went to well respected experts: the former head of the telecoms company Vodafone, Vittorio Colao, was entrusted with the Technological Innovation Ministry and physicist Roberto Cingolani was entrusted with the Environment and Ecological Transition Ministry.

Italians generally reacted positively to the newly announced cabinet. Draghi is well respected in Italy and many are hopeful that he will be successful in resolving Italy’s most urgent problems.

La Stampa daily summed up the mood in the country with its Saturday morning headline: "Break a leg".

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