IT is often said that four-time Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi — TV mogul, populist and demagogue — had presaged the coming of Donald Trump. Both leaders nearly ran their countries to the ground and into the path of authoritarianism, and both governed with bombast and bluster. History’s verdict on the two leaders will be harsh; Berlusconi’s many tenures as head of government especially. The broader world is in a hurry to forget the two clowns. It is also tragic that the nationalist and anti-Euro leaders that emerged to govern Italy after Berlusconi’s fall from power have mostly failed the country.

In line with those serial and epic fails at governing, the ravages of Covid-19 again led to the fall of the three-year-old government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Monte and his anti-Euro, nationalist coalition a few weeks back. Deft political maneuvering resulted in the formation of a new Italian government, led by a welcome but unexpected name, Mario Draghi, the former European Central Bank (ECB) president. Draghi is held in high esteem in his native Italy — rare for a country where previous leaders built their careers by disdaining the elite. Draghi, however, was above the fray of partisan politics and was credited for “saving the euro,” which had the effect of preserving the monetary union that otherwise could have imploded with the euro’s collapse.

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