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Low-key ‘fixer’ Giorgetti named Italy’s economy minister



Giancarlo Giorgetti, a political wheeler-dealer with considerable experience, is considered to be a moderate member the League party and is relatively pro-European.

Giorgetti was a low-key counterpart to Matteo Salvini, the eurosceptic leader of the party. Giorgetti has been in parliament for 26 years, working behind-the scenes to negotiate for others and make influential financial friends including the outgoing premier Mario Draghi.

Draghi, 55 years old, wasn’t the first choice for a job. He said that despite his previous experience as an industry minister under Draghi’s government, he wasn’t certain he was ready for the job.

The Prime Minister-designate Giorgia Malta Maloni will lead a volatile coalition of right-wing party parties. Fabio Panetta (a member of European Central Bank’s board), was offered the post but she declined.

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Tim Jones, an analyst at Medley Advisors in the eurozone, said that Giorgetti was a better match because he is a long-time League fixer.

Jones said that while some market participants might be skeptical about the League badge at first, it is time for politicians to “give it a go” after twenty years of failures under technocratic economic ministers.

According to the Treasury, Giorgetti inherits a chronically weak economy. Due to record-high levels of inflation and rising energy prices, it is currently in recession.


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He may not have the same economic education as Panetta but he does have other strengths that will allow him to succeed. Giorgetti served as the head of the budget committee in the lower house for 10 years (2001 to 2013). Giorgetti’s knowledge of Rome’s legislative system is unsurpassed. According to politicians who have been in touch with him, his renowned networking skills extend beyond politics and business to Italy’s powerful Roman Catholic Church.

Andrea Crippa, a League Lawmaker, said that “he has been able build relationships in sectors where League is viewed as suspicious and where it has gained much credibility.”

TOUGH TASK

Giorgetti speaks in gruff monosyllables and, unlike his predecessors in this position, he doesn’t speak much English. Giorgetti is known for his inability to communicate and a low level of importance.

Meloni supported his nomination last week and he said that he wasn’t sure if he would be made economy minister. “I don’t know if I would be able to be economy Minister.”

In the face of an economic crisis, he will have to keep the tax-cutting promises made by the right-wing coalition. It will not be necessary to increase Italy’s huge public debt, which is approximately 150% of its national output.

Giorgetti’s admirers are awestruck by his ability to mediate, his contacts, and his experience. However, some of his detractors within the League claim that he lacks political convictions and could operate in any other party.

Draghi, head of the European Central Bank was confronted with a mounting Italian debt crisis in 2011. Giorgetti was enlisted by Draghi to help ensure that the parliament did not cut spending. A balanced budget was also required by the constitution.

They were close friends, and Giorgetti, despite Salvini’s opposition, supported Draghi’s unsuccessful January presidential bid.

He was the minister of industry and helped block Chinese takeover bids in strategic sectors of Italy’s economy.

POST-FASCIST TO NORTHERN LOAGUE

Giorgetti was raised in a small village close to the Swiss border. Giorgetti studied business economics, and later became an accountant. In the 1980s, he joined the youth arm of the post-fascist Italian Social Movement. He shares this with Meloni.

In the mid-1990s, he switched to the Northern League, which was the predecessor to today’s League. He was the head of operations in Lombardy from 2002 to 2012.

Roberto Maroni (2012) defeated Umberto Bossi as the party’s founder. He remained in a high ranking position. One year later, Salvini succeeded Maroni. Salvini transformed the League into an antiimmigrant party, which is now more national. He also dropped “Northern” from its name.

Giorgetti is a friend of Lombard League since more than ten years.

Sources claim that he supported Maroni when Bossi was killed, and that he backed Salvini once he had gotten rid Maroni. He then backed Draghi who undercut Salvini,” the source stated, without naming him.

It is interesting that Salvini, when Meloni suggested Giorgetti as the Economy Minister, stated that he shouldn’t be considered part the League’s ministers contingent.

Giorgetti supports the obscure English soccer club Southampton. To summarize his political style, he likes to use analogies from sports.

He said that while everyone wants to score goals, and be a striker for the team, people also need to support the midfield. Panorama, a weekly news magazine, was presented with this statement in 2018.

Giorgetti, the most powerful minister in Meloni’s cabinet, will now need to set some goals.

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