Draghi ‘not one to be cajoled’ says Tajani

Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said Friday it is “very premature” to discuss the names of future leaders of the European Union institutions including that of former Italian premier and Bank of Italy president and president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi.

“Let’s wait for the elections, then the European institutions will choose their top management,” Tajani told reporters in Paris after attending a tribute to the former longtime European Commission president Jacques Delors, who died last Wednesday aged 98.

“But I don’t think Draghi is one to be cajoled.

He was an extraordinary ECB president, acting with foresight to defend the euro well.

“Thanks to his work, Europe has had a more supportive vision also from a macroeconomic point of view,” added Tajani.

In early December La Repubblica newspaper reported that French President Emmanuel Macron had been contacting other European leaders in relation to a possible agreement on Draghi’s candidature as the next president of the European Commission.

However, sources close to the former premier and ECB chief, a highly respected figure in Europe, subsequently said he was not interested in the position.

The issue also came up during the year-end press conference of Premier Giorgia Meloni in Rome on Thursday, when she said discussing names “is not the point”.

“The real issue is what the commission should do,” said Meloni.

“Today I do not believe it is possible to talk about who might lead the commission (and) Draghi has said he is not available,” she added.

These are two elements for consideration,” concluded the premier.