Meloni looks for technicians who integrate his Government to transmit reliability | International

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Italy, a country of few certainties, is clinging these days to the most relevant fact of recent times: the far-right Giorgia Meloni will be the first woman to preside over the Council of Ministers. And it will happen before the end of the month. Beyond this data, the rest of the political scene is now an open battlefield in which the three partners of the coalition led by the extreme right (Brothers of Italy, Forza Italia and Liga) are struggling to place the largest number of representatives in the new Executive. The unexpected problem is that Meloni, who is already beginning to move as the head of the Government in the Roman halls, does not want experiments at a very delicate moment for Italy and insists on placing technical profiles at the head of key ministries such as the Economy, Foreign Affairs or Interior. They are looking for men and women who solve problems and mitigate the lack of experience of the ruling class of their party.

Meloni wants to impose his criteria. And reduce the dependence of the partners on him, especially Forza Italia, with a greater international agenda. For this he has the complicity of Mario Draghi and the support of a large part of the outgoing Executive. But also from the employers' association, traditionally on the side of the League and Forza Italia. On Monday, its president, Carlo Bonomi, destroyed the economic program of the leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, jokingly taking his two star measures: the flat rate of personal income tax at 15% and the reduction of the retirement age. The work of the last months carried out by the Meloni team has worked and the money from the north is already on the side of the leader of the Brothers of Italy. Although they also ask for seriousness in the main portfolios.

The key to understanding Meloni's idea about the new Executive would go through the Ministry of Economy. After a period of stability with Daniele Franco at the head of said portfolio, the future prime minister wants as close as possible to that profile. The chosen one is Fabio Panetta, current Italian adviser to the European Central Bank (ECB) and old acquaintance of the leader of the Brothers of Italy. But the economist would be resisting, since his ambition would be to occupy the post of governor of Bankitalia, which will become vacant next November, when Ignazio Visco's term ends. Panetta, now 63, would prefer that job right now, but he has two problems. In the first place, he should be appointed by Meloni, to whom he would have said no in his request for help to balance the accounts of Italy in his Executive. The second, that the job of governor of the Bank of Italy is also coveted by the current Minister of Economy, Daniele Franco (69 years old).

Fabio Panetta, photographed in Rome.ROWING CASILLI

Panetta, according to coalition sources, has said several times that he is not interested in the job. The last one, according to Bloomberg, this week in Luxembourg. The situation is so delicate that Franco himself would have the possibility of returning to the Economy portfolio to avoid experiments. That would be the wish of the League. But Meloni considers that the message of continuity with Draghi's Executive would not benefit the birth of his Government at all. Franco, moreover, is not for the task of repeating either.

Meloni would like to send an international message of calm. And the trend is repeated in other ministries. One of the best-placed names right now for Foreign Affairs, for example, is that of Elisabetta Belloni, director of the Secret Services. His figure, who also ran for the presidency of the Republic last February when Sergio Mattarella was sought to be replaced, wins over politicians such as Antonio Tajani (Forza Italia), who will have to be found a good position so as not to unbalance the balance of the coalition. Something similar happens with the Interior portfolio, to which Salvini would like to return. But Meloni - and probably Mattarella - prefers a more neutral profile, like former police chief Matteo Piantedosi. The leader of the League in a ministry comes into daily conflict with European allies.

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More striking would be the permanence of Roberto Cingolani at the head of the portfolio for the ecological transition. But both the League and the Brothers of Italy are beginning to consider it a real option. Cingolani, another technician chosen by Draghi to pilot Italy's passage towards greener energy, currently manages a third of the funds of the PNRR (Italy's plan to reactivate the economy). His ministry is key to the smooth running of the reception of the more than 200,000 million euros that are coming from Brussels between loans and non-refundable capital.

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