Italy: Matarella proposes Draghi to lead government
The Italy head of state Sergio Matarella summoned Mario Draghi for talks on Wednesday, February 3, at noon (1100 GMT) after hearing that efforts to salvage the collapsed coalition of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte had failed.
Mattarella looks set to ask former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi to form a government of national unity to tackle the twin coronavirus and economic crises battering the country.
“I have a duty to appeal to all political forces (to support) a high-profile government,” Mattarella told reporters, ruling out the only other possibility, early elections, as ill-advised given the array of challenges facing Italy.
Draghi made no immediate comment on the presidential summons and it was not initially clear which parties in the deeply fractured parliament would support an administration he headed.
Mario Draghi is widely credited with pulling the euro zone back from the brink of collapse in 2012, pledging to do “whatever it takes” to save the single European currency.
Later the banker has largely vanished from the public eye since his ECB term ended in October 2019, but his name emerged as a potential premier in recent weeks as political turmoil combined with the health and economic emergencies to form a perfect storm. President Mattarella said one of the most important things the next administration had to do was to draw up rapidly plans for how to spend more than 200 billion euros ($243 billion) from a European Union fund designed to help overcome the economic slump.