Draghi urges unity in face of Italy's 'difficult moment'

By: AFP      Published: 08:30 PM, 3 Feb, 2021
Draghi urges unity in face of Italy's 'difficult moment'

Former ECB head Mario Draghi called for unity on Wednesday after being charged by Italy's president to form a new government, saying the country faced a "difficult moment".

He was called in after weeks of political instability in the eurozone's third-largest economy and the resignation of the former prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, against the backdrop of the coronavirus crisis.

"The awareness of the emergency requires responses worthy of the situation and it is with this hope and this commitment that I respond positively to the appeal of the President of the Republic," said Draghi, after meeting with President Sergio Mattarella. 

"It's a difficult moment," he said.

Draghi will now meet with the political parties, as his appointment is contingent on whether he can find enough support for a new government within Italy's warring parliamentarians. 

"I am confident that... unity will emerge and with it the ability to give a responsible and positive answer to the appeal of the President of the Republic," said Draghi.

Italy's latest political crisis was sparked when former premier Matteo Renzi pulled his small party out of the coalition government, depriving it of its parliamentary majority.

Conte resigned last week but had hoped to return at the head of a new coalition.