The Italian government formed by newly-appointed Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who was also the former chief of the European Central Bank (ECB), was officially sworn in.
Draghi formally accepted the mandate on Friday evening after meeting President Sergio Mattarella. The former ECB chief had received the task on February 3, following the collapse of the previous government led by Giuseppe Conte after a junior ally pulled out of the coalition, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.
The ceremony took place at the Quirinal presidential palace on Saturday noon. The new cabinet counts 23 ministers, comprising 15 political figures and 8 technical ones.
Some were confirmed in their offices, such as Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio, leader of Five Star Movement (M5S) majority party, Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese, Health Minister Roberto Speranza, and Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini.
Draghi also called in new figures whose roles would be crucial in the months ahead, with regard to both the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recovery.
Among them, Bank of Italy’s deputy governor Daniele Franco was named as Economy and Finance Minister; senior right-wing League party official Giancarlo Giorgetti as Minister for Economic Development; and former chief executive officer of Vodafone Group Vittorio Colao as Minister for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition.
New names were also Roberto Cingolani, scientific director of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), appointed as Minister for Ecological Transition; statistician Enrico Giovannini as Infrastructure and Transport Minister; and former president of Italy’s Constitutional Court Marta Cartabia as Justice Minister.
Next week, the cabinet will have to go before parliament for the necessary double votes of confidence in the senate and lower house, respectively.
During consultations with parties before formally accepting his mandate, Draghi received the support of all the political forces in parliament but one.
A key priority for his government will be related to the plan to allocate the 209-billion-euro (US $253 billion) package the European Union (EU) will provide to restart the Italian economy.
A national Resilience and Recovery Plan has already been outlined by the previous government, which specified the macro-areas of intervention, and the necessary reforms to relaunch the country.
The new cabinet will have to complete the plan, eventually amending it, before submitting it to the European Commission for approval by April.