On Tuesday, the former head of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi gave a speech that rattled the Italian political landscape. His name has been called by politicians across the spectrum to take Italy’s helm at this difficult time, but he’s probably not going to; here’s why

Mario Draghi’s speech on Tuesday sent shockwaves across the political world. Politicians and commentators alike expressed overwhelming appreciation for the former head of the ECB as he charted a post-pandemic recovery plan imbued with pragmatism, clairvoyance, and sensitivity towards the youngest and sustainability.

Mr Draghi refrained from addressing the Italian government directly, but many read between the lines a harsh blow to its welfarist political line – suffice it to say that prime minister Giuseppe Conte’s entourage replied with a clean-cut “no” when asked to comment the speech.

Truth be told, Mr Draghi’s name has been floated around countless times, by countless political actors, from countless backgrounds, as the right person to lead Italy on the path to recovery – so Mr Conte’s glacial reaction is only natural.

Mr Draghi himself has declared time and again that he was not interested in a career in politics. Still, half the country resumed singing Super Mario’s praise after the speech, hoping to see him in power soon.

Gianfranco Rotondi, a senior politician and journalist, expressed his amazement at the fact that Italian president Sergio Mattarella still hadn’t made him senator for life. “Mario Draghi is the most eminent among the civil servants at Italy’s disposal,” he wrote for Formiche.net; “to have [him] in Parliament would be an enormous enrichment of the representative force of our democratic institutions, especially in their international projection.”

However, the journalist argued that it was not in the interest of Mr Draghi to lead the government, as “he knows full well that one enters that palace as a saviour of the motherland and exits it as a public enemy, what happened to [the former leader of a technical government, [Mario] Monti.”

“He also knows that this passage generally happens by the hands of a government that brought you to power for his interest, and badly unseats you when that interest has changed,” he continued; “that arc is made credible by the profile of the political class that’s trending nowadays.”

Not only Mr Draghi is not interested in being prime minister or even president, argued Mr Rotondi, but his entrance in the field is called for by consensus-seeking politicians, something that does not move him at all.

Another former politician and journalist, Peppino Caldarola, wrote that Mr Draghi’s cautious political catwalk was actually well suited for the presidency, which will become vacant in 2022. Hence, PM Conte can rest easy: “if the government will fall, [Mr] Draghi will be there, but it won’t be [Mr] Draghi to cause the government to fall.”

The author argued that Mr Draghi’s myth is being boosted in juxtaposition to the less-suited prime minister, who cannot even come close to boasting the banker’s curriculum but is nonetheless manoeuvring a government dealing with the worst crisis since the World War II.

“Let’s tell it as it is: Mario Draghi made an excellent impression but he didn’t feel like giving the full shake-up […] he could have told us where to invest that ‘good debt’, he could have appealed to the political forces and the country, and instead he reminded us that the young will get in trouble – something that those of us who have them at home know already, and someone who repeats this without offering solutions pisses us off a bit,” pointed out Mr Caldarola.

“Since yesterday, [Mr] Draghi is a bit more of a leader because he chose to break the silence. He’s a bit less because when you’re Mario Draghi you must give spectacle. Can you imagine Maradona loafing about at centre field?”

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