As central bank president, Mr. Draghi pushed for changes including the loosening up of labor market regulations and streamlining of bureaucracy. That largely didn’t come to pass.

Lorenzo Codogno, a former chief economist at the Italian Treasury, said that if Mr. Draghi succeeded in forming a government, he would not be likely to take on those issues immediately. His focus would be on the vaccine rollout and managing more than €200 billion, what Mr. Draghi called on Wednesday “the extraordinary resources of the European Union.”

Unlike Mario Monti, another economist brought in as a technocratic prime minister to bail out Italy’s politicians during the debt crisis, Mr. Draghi has the task of spending, rather than cutting, billions of euros.

In a speech in Rimini last year, Mr. 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 invested money in “human capital, in crucial infrastructure for production, in research.”

Supporters of Mr. Draghi are optimistic that he will get Italy’s paralyzed public works projects moving, that he will invest more in job creation and education.

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

He added, “Now with Draghi we are traveling with seatbelts.”

It was Mr. Renzi who triggered the collapse of the previous government by pulling his support, and exacting some revenge, on Mr. Conte and his supporters in the Five Star Movement.



Source link