Tuesday (February 16th): Italy’s Super Mario

Mario Draghi

Name? Mario Draghi

Westphalian identity? Italian

Age? 73

Why is he in the news? Weeks after a rebellion in the ruling coalition under Giuseppe Conte plunged Italy’s government into crisis, the former head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, has been confirmed as Italy’s new prime minister.

Why do we care? Italy has been going from right populist governments to left populist governments in the past few years. As long as there were anti-European bureaucrats, a government would form. Now an investment banker, international financial expert and head of an EU institution; their once sworn enemy, is their desired redeemer of parties across the spectrum…Ironic, isn’t it?

Why should you care? Italy is in dire need of reforms to avoid a catastrophe. It is the eighth largest economy in the world but it is crippling under reform deadlock. But how does this apply to you? Well, if the eighth biggest economy in the world defaults, it will spiral the EU into chaos, potentially breaking it apart and causing another economic crisis on top of the current one. So you should care 10/10 that Draghi succeeds and avoids this scenario. 

Who else cares? Italian Women. The Italian Institute of Statistics (ISTAT)’s latest unemployment data shows that 98 percent of those who lost their jobs in December were women. We all know that women are disproportionately affected by this pandemic so let’s hope the eight female ministers in Draghi’s 23 minister cabinet will be able to represent Italian women. 

Any further comments? The world has a fascinating obsession with democracy. And while Italian populist parties always argue they will give the power back to the people, those same parties just supported a European technocrat. Since the last elections, Italy’s government broke apart twice … isn’t the standard democratic procedure to ask the population what they want? Just asking for the next time the EU criticises another country to respect the will of the people …

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordination Communications