Draghi: “I would have gladly stayed if I had been allowed”

The former prime minister reiterates: “Not interested in assignments, now I’m a grandfather”. And on the Meloni government: “It’s not for me to judge”

“I would have gladly stayed to complete the job if I could have been allowed“. Thus Mario Draghi in an interview with Corriere della Sera. Outside Palazzo Chigi the former premier is experimenting, he says, “a little free time. I’m a grandfather, I have four grandchildren. And I enjoy the right of grandparents to be able to choose what to do. This is also why I clarified that I’m not interested in political or institutional assignmentsneither in Italy nor abroad”.

Draghi then returns to the reasons that brought down his government: “If I look at the challenges met and won in just twenty months of government, one has to smile at those who said that I wanted to leave, frightened by the hypothetical abyss of a recession that up to now has not been reflected in the data. After a lifetime, I had been called to do a job that was new to me and I did it to the best of my ability”.

Did he give himself an explanation as to why they dropped it? “The government relied on the consensus of a vast coalition, which had decided to set aside its differences to allow Italy to overcome a period of emergency. I therefore didn’t have my own party or my own parliamentary base. At one point , the will of the parties to find compromises has failed, also due to the approaching natural expiry of the legislature”, he explains. “As the months went by, the majority that supported the government had crumbled and various parties – says Draghi – were dissociating themselves from decisions already taken in Parliament or in the Council of Ministers. The 5 Star Movement was increasingly opposed to military support to Ukraine, despite having initially supported this position in Parliament together with all the other political forces, and despite this being the line agreed with our allies at the European level, the G7 and NATO. Forza Italia and the Lega were against aspects of some important reforms, taxation and competition, which had been given the green light in the Council of Ministers. The League and the Five Star Movement were also clamoring for a budget deviation despite, as we are seeing, the economy and employment were going well”.

We have made many difficult decisions: I am thinking of the choice to implement the green pass and compulsory vaccination among the first in Europe. I knew they were limitations on individual freedoms, but they were necessary to guarantee everyone’s right to health, especially the most fragile. I am pleased to see today that the Constitutional Court fully agrees with the government’s approach. It was equally difficult to choose to reopen schools in April last year: they compared me to Bolsonaro, they said we would cause a health catastrophe. But the epidemic remained under control and the children returned to school on an ongoing basis”. “Finally, the immediate and convinced support for Ukraine: the risks of a Russian retaliation were evident, but we could not turn away from who had brought the war back to Europe”, explains Draghi.

On the government led by Giorgia Meloni, Draghi does not say too much: “It is not up to me to judge the government, especially not after such a short time. Giorgia Meloni has shown that she is a skilled leader and has had a strong electoral mandate. We must be careful not to create a new Negative international climate towards Italy. Maintaining our anchorage to Europe is the best way to multiply our international weight”. “I also think that we must always keep the dialogue open with the social partners, with the local authorities, with the third sector. A comparison inspired by dialogue, listening, availability”, she explains. Giorgia Meloni says that he has left her with a lot of things to do on the Pnrr… “We have respected all the objectives of the first two semesters, as certified by the European Commission. This is the only indicator on which the disbursement of funds depends I would have liked to complete the work we had carried out, and here I am referring in particular to the objectives of the second half of this year: we have achieved about half of them in the time given to us. The remaining objectives would certainly have been achieved before the end of this semester, as was the case in the previous two semesters.I believe that the current government is equally committed, and I have no reason to doubt that it will achieve all the objectives foreseen and necessary for the collection of the third installment”.