Name? Mario Draghi
Westphalian identity? Italian
Why is he in the news? Last week we wrote about Mario Draghi surviving a vote of no confidence and still resigning as Italian Prime Minister. Italian President Matarella denied that motion, sending him back to the Parliament and Senate for another vote of confidence. He won both votes again, yet handed in his resignation to Matarella again because three of the parties abstained from the vote, this time Matarella accepted.
Why do we care? Because we admire Draghi’s motives for resigning. As a technocrat supported by a wide coalition from left to right he carries no direct democratic mandate. That is why he resigned last week after the 5-Star movement abstained from the vote and, consequently, that is why he resigned today after two more parties abstained from the vote of confidence. Draghi could have continued as Prime Minister with a small majority but decided against it as he felt that a technocrat should have broader support.
Why should you care? Because Draghi’s decision is sending Italy into another period of political and economic turmoil and with it maybe all of the EU. You should care 5/10 about another crisis for the EU.
Who else cares? President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. After Brexit, Italy gained importance in the EU. As its third biggest country and economy, Draghi’s pro-European leadership was welcomed and needed by von der Leyen. It also allowed Italy to access the EU’s Covid recovery funds and push for badly needed reforms. The PM’s good path of 18 months has now imploded.
Any further comments? Draghi’s efforts for reforms were so popular in Italy that more than 2000 mayors signed a letter urging him to remain in office. He even used that in his address to the parliament. Let us wait and see whether Draghi decides to put together a similar movement to Macron’s in France before the upcoming elections in October…