Mario Draghi Saved the Euro. Can He Now Save Italy?

As President of the Central Bank, Mr Draghi pushed for changes, including easing labor market regulations and streamlining the bureaucracy. For the most part, that did not happen.

Lorenzo Codogno, former chief economist at the Italian Ministry of Finance, said that if Mr Draghi succeeded in forming a government, he probably would not take on these issues right away. His focus would be on vaccine roll-out and the administration of more than 200 billion euros in what Mr Draghi called “an exceptional resource for the European Union” on Wednesday.

Unlike Mario Monti, another economist who was brought in as the technocratic prime minister to rescue Italy’s politicians during the debt crisis, Draghi’s job is to spend billions of euros instead of cutting them.

In a speech in Rimini last year, Draghi, whose name has been mentioned for years as a potential candidate to replace President Sergio Mattarella as head of state in 2022, said foreign investors would accept higher Italian debt if the country put money in “human capital in a crucial infrastructure for production, in research. “

Mr Draghi’s supporters are optimistic that he will kick off Italy’s crippled public works and invest more in job creation and education.

“Italy is a country that has to spend a lot of money,” said former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in an interview. “We could have thrown everything away, we would have risked spending it badly.” Instead, he said, “Mario Draghi in Italy means trust and this is the first rule of business.”

He added: “Now we are traveling with Draghi with seat belts.”

It was Mr Renzi who sparked the collapse of the previous government by drawing his support and taking revenge on Mr Conte and his followers in the Five Star Movement.

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