Correspondent in Rome
The Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, has imposed on his government the line that he has always followed in his institutional career, including that of president of the European Central Bank: specific press conferences only when there is something important to communicate, rigorous and with explanations that everyone understands. Draghi does not like media noise or propaganda. For this reason, he stays away from social networks, where he does not even have an open profile.
Jesuit-trained, he speaks in three-word phrases. But they are usually sufficient. Hence it is considered a very effective communicator. Everyone remembers his famous phrase, with which he saved the euro: “Whatever it takes” (‘Whatever it takes’), which was accompanied by three other words to give confidence and show his courage:’ Believe me. It will be enough”.
Faced with the colossal task that awaits him and the many expectations that his government has generated, Draghi imposes on his ministers almost the Benedictine rule of ‘pray and work’ (prays and works), Latin phrase that in its secular version of banker and politician would be ‘work and let the facts speak’. He has already imposed sobriety and no rhetoric in the Executive. That will be your style of government. At the end of his first council of ministers, one of them asked him what will be the communication style that will inspire him. This was his answer: «I will make the facts speak. Right now we do not communicate anything, because we haven’t done anything yet. It was not a trivial question, at a time when politicians who live almost aware of social networks abound, and even some leaders have become fond of speeches with the ‘Aló Presidente’ model, the propaganda vehicle of Chavismo.
Rigorous institutional information
In Chigi Palace, seat of government, he has placed Paola Ansuini, from the Bank of Italy, where she was head of communication. Ansuini has a degree in Political Science, with four children and many readings. With Draghi he has a formal mutual esteem relationship and they are about you. He knows perfectly the style of the prime minister: institutional, with very rigorous and aseptic information. You should only speak when there is something to communicate. That is to say, the same line that he followed when he was president of the European Central Bank and previously of the Bank of Italy: Rumors are not discussed and, above all, they are not believed. The words must be linked to the facts.
It thus breaks radically with the stage of its predecessor, Giuseppe Conte. This had as spokesman Rocco Casalino, of the 5 Star Movement, very controversial character, who wanted to control everything and imposed on televisions even the M5E politicians who in his opinion should appear.
Ultimately, Draghi will have an exceptional spokesperson: himself. It will combine the need to restore public confidence in politics, with the seriousness and rigor of the institutional message. To this he will add another word that he considers fundamental: transparency. This is how he explained it in the Chamber of Deputies when he asked for a vote of confidence for his government: «One of the keys to preventing the spread of corruption is represented by the principle of prevention, with a policy of simplification and transparency, fundamental in public administration. Citizens must make their voice heard. It is the basis of responsibility. Therefore, they must have access to information, be it quantitative or qualitative data. This allows citizens to analyze activity in public decision processes. The principle of the active intervention of citizens in decisions must be respected, in order to increase and nurture their trust in the institutions and also the necessary social control ».
To the speeches that Draghi made in the Senate and Chamber of Deputies to ask for confidence, which he obtained by a vast majority, not a word was left over. After the prime minister’s speech in the Senate, an attentive writer and journalist observing parliament commented: “Mario Draghi has said in 55 minutes more than his predecessor Giuseppe Conte in two and a half years in office.”