Draghi's government is the 67th to assume power since 1946 and the seventh in the last decade alone, reflecting Italy's political turmoil. The Italian president swore in the former chief of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, as prime minister on Saturday at the head of a unity government called on to confront the coronavirus crisis and economic slump.
All but one of the major parties in Italy rallied to his side and his cabinet includes politicians from across the political spectrum, as well as technocrats in key roles, including the Ministry of Finance and a new portfolio of green transformation.
Much depends on the shoulders of Draghi now.
He is charged with plotting Italy's pandemic recovery and must immediately embark on plans to spend more than EUR 200 billion (US$240 billion) on European Union funds to restore the recession-bound economy. If he prevails, Draghi is likely to strengthen the entire eurozone, which has long been worrying about the perennial problems of Italy. Performance would also prove to Italy's cynical Northern allies that they would reinforce the whole bloc by providing funds to the poorer South. Yet there are tremendous obstacles he faces. Since World War Two, Italy is mired in its worst downturn, hundreds of people are still dying of COVID-19 every day, the vaccine program is moving slowly, and he has only a little time to figure things out.
In two years, Italy is expected to return to the polls, but it is far from clear that Draghi will last that long at the head of a coalition that involves parties with radically opposed views on topics such as immigration, justice, the growth of infrastructure and healthcare.
Draghi's government is the 67th to assume power since 1946 and the seventh in the last decade alone, reflecting Italy's political turmoil.