Mario Draghi Gets Nod to Form New Government and Guide Italy Out of Crisis

ROME — Mario Draghi, the former head of the European Central Bank who is largely credited with helping to save the euro, accepted a mandate from Italy’s president on Wednesday to try and form a new unity government that would guide the country out of the pandemic and through economic recovery.

Until as recently as Tuesday, the idea of Mr. Draghi replacing Giuseppe Conte as prime minister remained a pipe dream for the many Italians frustrated with a governing coalition that seemed paralyzed by ideological schisms and incompetence, especially as the coronavirus pandemic raged and economic devastation set in.

But on Tuesday evening, President Sergio Mattarella summoned Mr. Draghi and appealed to “all the political forces in the Parliament” to support a “high profile government” to meet the historic moment.

He made it clear Mr. Conte’s tenure was over and the new players, potentially political leaders proposed by the parties supporting Mr. Draghi or an all-star cast of politically unaffiliated economists, judges and scientists, was ready to take the stage.

Italy’s stock market rallied on Wednesday in response to the news that Mr. Draghi’ had been lined up to lead the Italian government. He will now begin consultations with party leaders over the coming days in an effort to form a new Italian government.

Mr. Draghi is himself no political novice. He has served in past Italian governments, was a director if Italy’s treasury and knows well the machinery of government at both the European and Italian level.

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