The new Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
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LONDONR New Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi is already transforming the political scene in Rome and making stock markets grow.
After a new political chaos, the former president of the European Central Bank was called to become the new leader of Italy and to save its troubled economy. His arrival has been described as “better than expected” after it garnered widespread political support and stopped the threat of populist forces.
Draghi, who was sworn in on Saturday, presented his Cabinet over the weekend a group made up mainly of politicians from various parties and some technocrats in key ministries as well.
“This is the best possible result and better than I expected, because it provides a degree of stability and political accountability,” Erik Nielsen, the group’s chief economist at UniCredit, said in a research note Sunday.
Draghi has managed to get support from most of the main political forces in Italy, following concerns that a clean technocratic team would have a short life. The next general elections in Italy will take place only in early 2023.
By providing broad political support and a diversified team, Draghi has already improved his outlook for Italy. Analysts have become more bullish on Italian government bonds, citing “expectations of a more efficient use of NGEU (Next Generation EU) funds, structural reforms and a better vaccination outlook,” according to a note. UniCredit.
At the same time, the main stock index in Italy has risen more than 7% since the beginning of the month.
Barclays analysts believe that economic growth will continue in the second half of the year. “The return of Mario Draghi, now Prime Minister of Italy, has changed dramatically politically,” analysts at Barclays also said in a note Monday.
They explained that the winner from the month-long political crisis would appear to be the anti-immigration Lega party. The centrist DP previously opposed the union of forces with the Lega and this new unity has created tensions within the party. Meanwhile, the other big party, the Five Star Movement, saw no internal divisions when it approved of Draghi’s prime minister last week.
This could shift the view in Italian polls. Lega is still the most popular political party with about 24% of public support. However, the Five Star Movement and the PD that formed the previous government may face a backlog. The DP, which enjoyed 20% of public support in January, lost a percentage point in a poll released February 11th.
At the same time, the arrival of Draghi has also faded the rhetoric of populism, at least for now.
“What we can say today is that populism is weaker in Italy for both Draghi’s intervention and the pandemic intervention and European integration,” Lorenzo Castellani, a historian at LUISS private university, told Guido Carli last week.
Italy had two main populist forces on the eve of the 2018 general elections Lega and the Five Star Movement. But they both have increased a less anti-EU stance now, Erik Jones, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, told CNN on Monday.
“The Five Star Movement made its axis when it supported Ursula von der Leyen (President of the European Commission) in June 2019; the Lega made its axis when it decided to support Draghi in forming an open pro-European national unity government last week , “he added.
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