Italy's new Prime Minister Mario Draghi (R) and outgoing prime minister Giuseppe Conte, during the handover ceremony at Chigi Palace in Rome, Italy, Saturday. Photo by Ettore Ferrari/EPA-EFE
Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Economist Mario Draghi was sworn in Saturday as Italy's new prime minister to lead the unity government in facing the COVID-19 crisis and economic fallout.
Draghi, 73, former head of the European Central Bank, who has been nicknamed "Super Mario" for his role in saving the euro, has put together a unity government of the main political parties following political turmoil last month.
In late January, former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stepped down largely over criticism for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi removed his Italia Viva Party from the ruling coalition, saying Conte failed to satisfy his concerns about the government's economic recovery.
Prior to being sworn in, Draghi announced his Cabinet to President Sergio Mattarella, containing a mix of political and technocratic ministers.
The Cabinet will have to decide how to spend over $240 billion of European Union funds for recovery from the pandemic.
Among the Cabinet, Luigi Di Maio, a senior figure in the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, will stay on as foreign minister. Giancarolo Giorgetti, a senior figure in the populist far-right League party, will be industry minister, and Andrea Orlando, from the center-left Democratic Party, will be labor minister.
The government will have a confidence vote next week, but that has been considered a formality given the cross-party support.
"Mario Draghi was the Italian who saved Europe, and I think now he is the European who can save Italy," Renzi told the BBC's Newshour program last week.