Draghi nets wide support to be Italian PM

·1-min read

Italy's political parties on the left and right have enthused at the prospect of backing a Mario Draghi government after meeting the prime minister-designate as he wrapped up his second round of consultations.

Draghi, 73, a former head of the European Central Bank, is expected to report back to Italy's head of state and propose his list of cabinet ministers by Thursday.

By then he will know whether he has the backing of the largest party in parliament, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which is holding an online ballot of its members over the next two days to decide its stance.

On Tuesday, 5-Star's leader Vito Crimi said it had received important reassurances from Draghi over his intentions on welfare policy and the transition to renewable energy.

Draghi also gave no suggestion he planned to apply for a loan from the euro zone's bailout fund, something 5-Star staunchly opposes, Crimi said after the last of Draghi's meetings with all the groups in parliament.

Previously, Draghi had secured the virtually unconditional backing of the right-wing League, the centre-left Democratic Party and the conservative Forza Italia led by the 84-year-old, four-time former premier Silvio Berlusconi.

All the party chiefs said they were pleased with Draghi's ideas on how to stimulate economic growth, safeguard the environment and tackle the coronavirus crisis.

While there seems no doubt that Draghi will get a majority, he faces a tough task putting together cabinet team and policy program to please the long-time bitter political enemies who are now queuing to join his coalition.