Draghi says he is willing to stay on as Italy’s prime minister if internal disputes are resolved

Advocates taking steps to “combat interference by Russia and other autocracies” in domestic politics

Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who tendered his resignation last week after the 5 Star Movement failed to vote on a question of confidence in the Senate, said Wednesday he is willing to stay in office if disputes within the coalition government are resolved.

“A firm and cohesive government is necessary. Italy needs a concrete and sincere development pact,” said Draghi, who called on Parliament for “backing” for the Executive and “mutual respect” for each other’s role. “Italy does not need a façade of confidence that vanishes when there are inopportune measures,” he explained.

“We need a sincere and concrete pact of trust, like the one that allowed us to change the country for the better. To the parties and parliamentarians: are you ready to rebuild this pact?”, he has asked during an appearance before the Senate, as reported by the Italian daily ‘La Repubblica’.

Thus, he has explained that the “painful” decision to resign came due to the “failure of the majority of national unity”, before stressing that the vote of confidence motion “cannot be ignored” given that it is a “political gesture”. “It is not possible to minimize it, since it comes after months of tears and ultimatums. The only way if we want to continue together is to rebuild this pact again with courage, altruism and credibility,” he has argued.

“Italians are asking for it especially. The mobilizations of the last few days are unprecedented and it is impossible to ignore them,” he stressed, while emphasizing that “during the last few months, national unity has been the best guarantee of the democratic legitimacy and effectiveness of this Executive.”

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“I believe that a prime minister who has never gone before the voters must have the maximum possible support in Parliament. This is even more important in a context of emergency in which the government must take decisions that deeply affect the lives of Italians,” he said, before reminding parliamentarians that they occupy their seats by decision of the Italians. “There is an answer to give to all Italians,” he reiterated.

Draghi has thus stated that this is “even more important now in a context of emergency in which the government must take decisions that have profound effects on the lives of Italians.”

COMBATING RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE

Moreover, he stressed the importance of working to find “negotiated solutions” to the food crisis caused by the war in Ukraine and stressed the need to “take measures to combat the interference of Russia and other autocracies in Italian domestic politics and society.”

“Italy is a free and democratic country, so we have to respond to those who want to seduce us with an authoritarian model in order to strengthen European values”, he has asserted.

For him, it is necessary to intervene to “guarantee a good salary for the most affected workers.” “Wages are an important measure and can be improved to favor those who are in a more vulnerable situation to ultimately avoid the negative effects on the labor market,” he stressed before stating that we must achieve the “ecological transition” to address climate change.

“Droughts and abnormal heat waves require us to take global warming seriously,” he pointed out.

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He has also argued that the country must be able to “keep the mafias away from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR, for its Italian acronym), a program of the Ministry of Economic Development. “It is the best way to honor the memory of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino,” he said, referring to the two judges who were killed for carrying out judicial proceedings against Cosa Nostra.

However, senators from La Liga and the 5 Star Movement have hardly applauded the prime minister during his speech from Palazzo Madama, contrary to the majority of senators, especially the foreign minister, Luigi di Maio.

Matteo Renzi of Italia Viva defended that Draghi “has given the speech that was expected of him” and argued that “now we will have to see what former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini will do.”

“Draghi has acted seriously and the majority supports him. Now we will see what Conte and Salvini, who tend to do nonsense, especially recently, will do. I will express my confidence in Draghi but we will have to wait,” he has maintained.

The League, on the other hand, has conveyed that its position is “in total harmony” with that of Salvini, leader of the formation. The center-right leaders are scheduled to meet with former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at around 13.00 to analyze Draghi’s words.


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