European microphone. Mario Draghi, the providential man for Italy?

The new Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi arrives at the Senate on February 17, 2021 in Rome. He called for
The new Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi arrives at the Senate on February 17, 2021 in Rome. He called for “rebuilding” the country hit hard by the health and economic crisis. (ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP)

Mario Draghi, 73, is the new President of the Italian Council, the Prime Minister of the Italian government. Responsible for forming by the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, a high-level government without a political formula, ie a national union for the country. The government of the Italian Republic being responsible to both chambers of Parliament.

The seat of government is Palazzo Chigi, located in Piazza Colonna in Rome. The government of Mario Draghi is the 67th government of the Italian Republic since February 13, 2021, under the XVIII legislature of the Italian Republican Parliament, since the creation of the Italian Republic in 1946.

Mario Draghi, an economist by training, university professor, was Goldman Sachs vice president for Europe from 2002 to 2005. Goldman Sachs is an investment bank established in 1869 in Manhattan, New York. Mario Draghi was then Governor of the Bank of Italy from 2006 to 2011, and President of the European Central Bank from 2011 to 2019.

This government is made up of a political coalition whose members are: Beppe Grillo’s 5 Star Movement (Movimento 5 Stelle), an anti-system party; the League (Lega Nord) led by Mateo Salvini, a regionalist and populist Eurosceptic party; the Democratic Party (Partito Democratico), the center-left party of Valentina Cuppi; Italia Viva, the center-left Matteo Renzi party that resigned from the Democratic Party, Matteo Renzi having brought down the Giuseppe Conte government; Forza Italia, the center-right party of Silvio Berlusconi; Free and Equal (Liberi e Uguali), a small democratic leftist and progressive party led by Pietro Grasso, a former magistrate engaged in the fight against the Mafia, he was also president of the senate from 2013 to 2018; Bruno Tabacci’s Center Democrat (Centro democratico), a center-left party; We with Italy (Noi con l’Italia), a center-right coalition led by Raffaele Fitto and finally Europa, liberal and Europhile party, the founder being Emma Bonino, great Italian and European political figure, feminist from the radical party by Marco Pannella, also a great figure in Italian political life.

As announced by our guest Daniele Zappala, correspondent for the daily Avvenire in Paris, this government is “Niçoise salad”, when some Italian observers compare the Draghi government to a “chicken coop”. This government lacks the Brothers of Italy party (Fratelli d´Italia), a sovereignist and nationalist party, led by Giorgia Meloni. Fratelli d´Italia is the epitome of the Italian Anthem, Inno di Mameli. Giorgia Meloni will be the observer of this government in the opposition, and perhaps waits to reap the fruits of the (possible) future disappointments of “Draghism”. This government has 545 out of 630 deputies, and 266 out of 321 senators.

Nevertheless, if Mario Draghi is casting a wide net for national unity, as in 1945, many key positions are entrusted not only to “politicians” but to relatives, technocrats, financiers, entrepreneurs, from the Draghi periphery. However, will it be a majority government, we can doubt it because the Italian political nuance represented in the Draghi government offers only two outcomes, a binary situation, or a total failure leading Italy to yet another crisis. endangering the structures of the Italian Republic, that is to say a total success, in which case one might wonder what this success would be due …

It must be said that Mario Draghi achieved an impossible feat in Italy. If his popularity rating reaches 71%, Super Mario, as the Italians call him, that Berlusconi or Renzi follow him is not surprising, on the other hand that he rallied the great Emma Bonino, which is not nothing, when we know the career of this feminist who militated half a century ago for divorce and legal abortion, allied with Marco Pannella, a political couple who made the heyday of Italian politics of the 70s. But Super Mario did not stop there.

Another performance brought to him, Matteo Salvini, or even make him a Europeanist, the boss of the League having behind him a part of the employers of the north, ditto by obtaining the confidence of Beppe Grillo, the Italian comic of the 5-star anti-system movement, proclaiming with enthusiasm that we could follow Mario Draghi. To be sure, either Mario Draghi is a still unknown mastermind in Italian politics or he is “Hamelin’s flautist”, but either way, no one can predict anything yet.

All Italian commentators will remind you that Mario Draghi, brought up among the Jesuits, kept this very Jesuitical approach which is his own. A flawless course for the right student, he is an influential man who knows how to use the networks he has known throughout his career. We speak of him as the providential man for Italy, comparing him to General de Gaulle in 1958. Social Catholic, tennis player and golfer, son of a banker (already), Super Mario is for some a pragmatic man, not dogmatic, knowing how to adapt to circumstances, he has proven it in his career.

Knowing how to play a mysterious side, his studies in Rome took place at the Institute Massimiliano Massimo, Jesuit Institute (the equivalent of Deusto in Spain) where he will share the same benches of the Italian economic elite to come. Bachelor of Economics at La Sapienza, the great Italian university, he will also graduate with a research doctorate at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston. Professor at the University of Trento, then of Padua, Venice and Florence, Mario Draghi will also be Executive Director at the World Bank, then will join the European branch of Goldman Sachs. He would then become Director General of the Italian Treasury, then President of the European Central Bank. Experts speak of faultless governance at the ECB, they call it the savior of the euro …

After his departure from the ECB he will be appointed by Pope Francis (another Jesuit) to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, that is to say the think tank of the Holy See, composed among others, of the Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz and economist Stefano Zamagni, who chairs the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. Joseph E. Stiglitz is the man who criticized the IMF and the World Bank, the creator of the “efficiency wages “. Finally, Mario Draghi has always been married to an Italian aristocrat, Serena Cappello, descendant of Bianca Cappello, mistress and second wife of the Grand Duke of Tuscany François 1er de Médicis. We understand after such a journey that Super Mario is a man of networks.

Today, Mario Draghi is building consensus, it is a fact. He will have to manage a stimulus plan of 209 billion euros. A stimulus plan which will be accompanied by structural reforms planned until 2023. Because Italy is the third European economy, in very bad shape, Mario Draghi is facing an epidemic which has severely weakened the Italian economy, it will be necessary manage as well as possible the question of the cost of pensions, but especially the ecological transition, now provided with a ministry, therefore consensus will have to go hand in hand with economic recovery.

In addition to carrying the heavy burden of a renaissance of the democratic transalpine political system, the Italian president of the council will have to show skill and compromise, without compromise, to restore confidence to the Italian voters in a different post-covid daily life, by regaining a purchasing power that is lacking.

The other “Super Mario”

Mario Draghi is not only the man with a great professional career, he is also the man that some want to see after Sergio Matarella, the current President of the Italian Republic. And why not the Quirinal Palace, they say in Rome, it would be logical after the presidency of the Italian Council. Yes but … The accession to the residence of the President of the Italian Republic is now questionable, as Mario Draghi has just taken office. Because the presidential elections are scheduled for February 2022, less than a year from today, and it would be unthinkable for the President of the Council to want to leave office for the most prestigious election, while he will not have fulfilled its duty to revive and maintain democracy, with or without the famous consensus of political parties by 2022.

However, Italian political scientists are theorizing on the possibility that President Sergio Mattarella will stand for a new term of seven years, leaving time for Mario Draghi to carry out essential reforms until 2023, the year of the legislative elections, then choosing to leave the Presidency in favor of its President of the Council. Everything is possible in politics, here or elsewhere …

For his European partners, Mario Draghi is a valued man, first of all Angela Merkel, who will step down from the Chancellery next September, then French President Emmanuel Macron. However, coincidence or not of the calendar, the President of the Italian Council will take over the rotating presidency of the G20 next May. The time would be favorable for him for whoever enjoys the confidence of Germany and France, that is to say the three major economies of the European Union, and European political times would be favorable to Mario Draghi.

First, the arrival of Mario Draghi would allow, many hoped, a union between the two cousins, namely France and Italy. This union would be preventive in the face of the due date of the German election next September for the Chancellery. German political scientists agree that a victory for the Christian Democrats is more than likely. But this is where the problem lies. The CDU caciques are by no means ruling out that the future chancellor may or may not be the current CDU president, Armin Laschet, and there is nothing to say that they prefer CSU president, the Bavarian Markus Söder. It is true that Söder seems more determined than the very “Merkelien” Laschet.

Another factor that should not be overlooked, during the meeting of Club Valdai, the Russian international discussion club, on October 22, Vladimir Poutin expressed in his intervention that China is heading towards a position of super world power, adding that Germany is moving towards a similar position. Nothing tells us who will be the tenant of Willy-Brandt-Straße next September, which leaves little time for a true union between Italy and France in the European Union, which would be a counterweight to a partner Germany, at the risk of being omnipotent. Italy has just endowed itself with a providential man, providence to endow Italy well …

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