Thus Mario Draghi calmed his critics before going up to the Quirinale: contacts in recent months with Di Maio, Salvini and Meloni

Mario Draghi was already here, among us, before appearing at the Quirinale. He had already tamed the most sovereign and populist parties of Italy. He had already received a phone call from Matteo Salvini at the end of January.

He had already met one, another and another time Luigi Di Maio. He had already delivered a polite invitation to Giorgia Meloni. This happened when it was thought that Draghi was not there, a pensioner absorbed among the Umbrian olive trees with his Hungarian hound dog. Instead Draghi was ready for Sergio Mattarella’s call. No, no plot hatched by the plutocracy. No, no mystical vision of Fantozzi memory.

Draghi was ready because Draghi doesn’t get caught unprepared and always does the things he says and doesn’t always say the things he does. And among the things he did not say is an intense work on the most distant parties – Lega, Cinque Stelle, Fratelli d’Italia – from that Europe that protected the European Central Bank for eight years, a dozen months of contacts discrete, of presentations, of acquaintances. Draghi is meticulous, strategic, reserved: he is political. He was not in God’s mercy like man before creation, “according to the benevolent design of his will”, to say it with the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians.


The opportunity and the risk

After October 31, 2019, the last day of service at the ECB, used, evoked and above all feared by politics, Draghi prepared for any eventuality. In order not to fail, he had only one possibility: to transform the most anti-European Parliament into the Parliament that has converted to Europeanism more quickly. It was either electrocution or despair. Patience. Even St. Paul went through it.


The Northern League Giancarlo Giorgetti he is a friend of Draghi, he has a sacred respect for him, he is a pragmatic type, a Southampton fan who on Saturdays and Sundays disconnects with the world and watches the English championship.

If he answers, he doesn’t turn off the television and falls silent as soon as he scores a team. For almost two years, after the crush of Papeete that killed the yellow-green executive and the alliance with the Five Stars, he explained to Salvini a couple of trivial concepts: the consents are not enough to govern, it is feral to chase the Brothers of Italy to the right. For Giorgetti, the pandemic was an opportunity to rebuild the League with a government of all clinging to one: Draghi.

Salvini hesitated for a long time, denying oneself is more complicated than closing ports shouting on television, then he heard him on the phone during the fall of Giuseppe Conte’s government, immediately after the withdrawal of the ministers of Italia Viva, in those moments of I swoon when I stop, with my head in the wardrobe, the light too dim, the piles of trousers wavering, you don’t know which sweatshirt to put on because you don’t know who you are anymore. For the consultations Salvini was already ironed from the right direction, no longer either vote or death, no longer ferocious with migrants and in dialogue with Moscow, indeed he renewed the oath to the United States, as if it were the magic formula to access the buildings again of power, and it was shown to the journalists with Giorgetti next to him who, bundled up in a hooded jacket, nodded satisfied at Matteo’s every word.

Draghi relied on Giorgetti to bring Salvini closer, with Meloni and Di Maio he used a different method. Premise. Draghi spent a decade as general manager at the Ministry of the Treasury, from there he went through the last decade of the twentieth century, he learned institutional etiquette. Draghi does not offer himself, he does not plot, he makes himself available to make himself useful. So an intermediary, not a politician, last summer turned to Meloni and Di Maio with some sort of advice: why don’t you have a chat with the former ECB chief?

I nomi

Mario Draghi’s network of relationships and power

Di Maio accepted early, his survival instinct, of ancient and unconscious Christian Democrat lineage, revealed itself as often happens to him and on 24 June he joined him in a secluded office far from the Foreign Ministry. Matteo Renzi found out, and got a little jealous. Prime Minister Conte suspected it, and reacted very badly. Until the secret, which in Rome is anything but eternal, the time for an aperitif, became the news that Di Maio confirmed unhappily: “It made a good impression on me.” Since that day Conte has seen Draghi in every dark corner of Palazzo Chigi, instead of building a relationship he tried to break him down even with the public derision: “I wanted to run him for the leadership of the European Commission, he replied that he was tired”. Instead Di Maio no longer mentioned Draghi, but attended him with caution.

What Mario Draghi’s experience as director general of the Treasury tells us

Meloni thought about it for weeks, she was flattered, but she declined the proposal, she didn’t shake hands, sorry she didn’t give the elbow to the former banker, not out of presumption, she wasn’t sure, she cares about consistency, symbols, to the flames. How do you argue with someone who, in practice, Europe saved it after you hosted Steve Bannon with honors, one who, in theory, Europe smashed it.

Mario Monti landed in Italy and was welcomed as an accomplished gentleman who dresses in an alienating way. The loden fascinated the exhausted Italians from the anatomical chronicles of the “elegant dinners” in Silvio Berlusconi’s villa in Arcore. Monti thought of governing without politics, Draghi did not make the same mistake. He was on his way to the Quirinale, for the succession to Mattarella, then they stopped him to divert him to Palazzo Chigi. Politics is a necessary step to aspire to the presidency of the Republic. As soon as he received the job from Mattarella, despite the first naive reactions of Riccardo Fraccaro and Vito Crimi, Draghi garnered the support of Salvini and Di Maio and a refusal, not polemical, from Meloni.

Forza Italia rejoiced, Berlusconi came out of the palm trees on the Cote d’Azur where he moved, suddenly Gianni Letta is back twenty years ago. As expected. What was not foreseen happened in Nicola Zingaretti’s Pd, Draghi’s cultural reference party. More than Rocco Casalino, Zingaretti believed that Conte was indispensable, he frowned on the early elections, opposed the Northern League and, as usual, corrected himself and adapted. Zingaretti did not help Draghi’s entry into politics, one who at the time of the ECB often traveled by plane with Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni to go to Brussels.

The Democratic Party has shown signs of delirium by starting to quarrel over the congress to remove Zingaretti with a resigning Prime Minister and yet another not installed. The 5S have discovered how exhausting it is to be a party and it is not clear who is in charge between Beppe Grillo, the platforms of Casaleggio, the multiform Di Maio, the insightful tactics of Crimi. Then Salvini got enticed and tried to sign the Draghi operation. It was not bad among the Umbrian olive trees with the Hungarian hound dog. By now the apparition has taken place and St. Paul is nowhere to be found.

Source: L'Espresso – News, inchieste e approfondimenti Espresso by

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