WORLD Italy's new PM Draghi wins Senate confidence vote


Italy's new PM Draghi wins Senate confidence vote


09:53, February 18, 2021

ROME, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Newly sworn-in Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi won a confidence vote in the Senate on Wednesday night.

Italy's new Prime Minister Mario Draghi, flanked by Italy's Minister for Economic Development, Giancarlo Giorgetti (L), addresses the Senate on February 17, 2021 in Rome, before submitting his government to a vote of confidence. (Photo: AFP)

Draghi's government was supported by a vote of 262-40 with two abstentions in the Senate.

In a speech prior to the vote, Draghi outlined his government program going forward.

"The main duty we are called on to fulfill is to fight the pandemic with every means at our disposal," Draghi said. "The virus is everyone's enemy."

He said COVID-19 vaccinations must be carried out "in all possible facilities, whether public or private," with the help of the military, the Civil Protection Department, and volunteers.

As part of its G20 leadership this year, Italy will promote "green and sustainable growth for everyone" in order to build back better in the wake of the pandemic, Draghi said.

The country will also focus on sustainability and green transition ahead of the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP26), he added.

The new prime minister called for expansive monetary and fiscal policies to foster the transition to a green and sustainable economy.

"Climate change, like the pandemic, penalizes some productive sectors while other sectors that could compensate do not expand," Draghi said. "Therefore we must be the ones to ensure this expansion, and we must do so right away."

Protecting the environment is at the root of Italy's Recovery and Resilience Plan to invest the European Union funds in strategic objectives such as the transition to electric mobility and renewable energy, Draghi said.

"We will have at our disposal some 210 billion euros (about 253 billion U.S. dollars) over a period of six years," the prime minister said.

Draghi also promised to deliver education, healthcare, justice, labor, and tax reforms, as well as welfare measures for those suffering economic hardship due to the pandemic.

Draghi, who was sworn in over the weekend, faces a second confidence vote in the Lower House on Thursday. Under Italian law, new governments must win confidence votes in both houses of parliament before they can get to work.

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