17:25 GMT06 March 2021
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    The Italian president and political elites hope that the former chief of the top European financial institution, who once helped the bloc to emerge from the 2008 financial crisis, will perform an economic miracle in the country.

    Italy's President Sergio Mattarella has announced that former head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, has formally accepted an offer to become the country's new prime minister. His candidacy for the post of head of government is supported by practically all Italian political parties.

    The new Cabinet will retain several ministers from the Giuseppe Conte government. Luigi Di Maio, from the 5-Star Movement, will keep the post of foreign minister; the Democratic Party's Andrea Orlando will remain in his capacity as labour minister, and Giancarlo Giorgetti, from the League party, will keep the office of industry minister. Luciana Lamorgese will continue to serve as Italy's Interior Minister.

    Draghi's cabinet will also see some new faces, such as Daniele Franco, who will hold the office of economy minister after serving a little over a year as the chair of the Bank of Italy. In addition, under the new government, physicist Roberto Cingolani will lead the ministry of green transition.

    Italian premier Giuseppe Conte sips a coffee during a debate at the Senate prior to a confidence vote, in Rome, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021.
    © AP Photo / Alessandra Tarantino
    Italian premier Giuseppe Conte sips a coffee during a debate at the Senate prior to a confidence vote, in Rome, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021.

    Draghi was invited after the previous cabinet led by Giuseppe Conte faced a government crisis because of losing a majority in the Senate after one of the members of the coalition, Italia Viva, removed its support for the prime minister. Italia Viva's walk-out was prompted by Conte's refusal to consider radical changes to Italy's policy for recovery from the pandemic-induced economic crisis.

    The government collapse was largely caused by the continuing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, accompanied by an economic meltdown which the previous cabinet failed to resolve. The lack of change in the economic situation prompted criticism from Italia Viva's leadership. Conte accused the party and its leader, Matteo Renzi, of triggering the government collapse.

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    Mario Draghi, coronavirus, COVID-19, Italy
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