Mario Draghi wins first confidence vote promising to recover Italy from pandemic

Photo: EPA

On Wednesday night in Rome, 262 of the 304 voting members of the Italian Senate voted in favour of the government of the former president of the ECB Mario Draghi, while 40 voted against, AP reported. Draghi will face the second vote of confidence in the larger Chamber of Deputies on Thursday.

Earlier in his speech Draghi said he will lead Italy out of the coronavirus pandemic. He told senators that Italy has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to rethink and rebuild the country, urging them to unite behind his government, which he vowed will be environmentally conscious, staunchly pro-European and oriented toward technological and digital reforms.

“Today, unity isn’t an option, it’s an obligation,” Draghi said to applause as he outlined his government programme.

“The virus is the enemy of all of us,” Draghi also said, as he urged politicians to put aside their personal and political interests and assume the same spirit of sacrifice that their parents and grandparents took on after World War II.

The premier said Italy had an opportunity not seen since then to rebuild the country from the ground up using the more than 200 billion euros in European Union recovery funds. Draghi said his government would be “convincingly” pro-EU and pro-US, and that he envisaged reinforcing bilateral relations with France and Germany, in particular.

It was a marked shift from the 5-Star-led government of Premier Giuseppe Conte, which in 2019 became the first Group of Seven nation to join China’s ambitions Belt and Road development initiative, AP noted.

Draghi’s 23-member Cabinet includes politicians in most ministries but puts technical experts in key roles, especially those responsible for ensuring that the funds Italy expects to receive are spent according to EU criteria. Some 37% of the allocated recovery funds must go toward environmental goals, while 20% must he devoted to digital transformation.

 

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