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Italy's new prime minister: Who is Mario Draghi?

Draghi has had a distinguished career in high finance in Italy and the EU.

Mario Draghi has formally accepted the mandate from Italian president Sergio Mattarella to form a new government, presenting his list of ministers this evening before being sworn in as prime minister tomorrow, 13 February.

But who is Mario Draghi? We take a look at the life and career of the 73-year-old Italian economist and banker.

Early years

Born in Rome on 3 September 1947, Draghi is the eldest of three children; he has a sister Andreina, an art historian, and a brother Marcello, an entrepreneur.

His father Carlo was a banker and his mother a pharmacist. When Draghi was 15 he lost both parents within a short space of time. His father's sister stepped in to take care of the three siblings.

Draghi attended the Massimiliano Massimo Institute, a Jesuit school in Rome, where his classmates included the future chairman of Ferrari, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo.

In 1970 Draghi graduated in economics at La Sapienza University, earning a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976, before embarking on a career as an academic economist in Italy.

World Bank

He served as executive director of the World Bank from 1984 until 1990. A year later he became general director of the Italian Treasury.

He held this post until 2001 before leaving public service to join Goldman Sachs where he would become managing director.

In 2005 he was appointed the ninth governor of the Bank of Italy and, following the global recession in 2008, he was selected to become the first chair of the Financial Stability Board, a post he held until 2011.

Whatever it takes

Draghi left both these roles to become president of the European Central Bank, going on to preside over the Eurozone crisis in 2012 and becoming famous for stating that he would do "whatever it takes" to prevent the euro from failing.

In late 2012 he was named man of the year by The Financial Times for his management of the European sovereign debt crisis.

In 2014 Draghi was listed as by Forbes magazine as the eighth most powerful person in the world, dropping to 18th place in 2018, the year before he handed over the ECB reigns to his successor Christine Lagarde.

Personal life

A devout Catholic, Draghi said in 2015 that his political ideas fall within the sphere of liberal socialism.

He has been married since 1973 to Maria Serenella Cappello, an expert in English literature, with whom he has two children: Federica and Giacomo.

A reserved character, Draghi is a keen sportsman and in his free time enjoys jogging, trekking, tennis and golf.

Photo credit: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com.

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