After several days of political rowing, President Mattarella of Italy has called on one of the country’s most celebrated international figures, Mario Draghi, former head of the European Central Bank, to form a new government. Draghi now has a fortnight to get his government together – face a vote of confidence in parliament, or give the current Italian socio-political tail-spin crisis another nudge.

As President, Mattarella has extraordinary powers in times of political crisis and hiatus. He can nudge, cajole, and choose who should form the next administration. Italy’s crisis began when former prime minister, Matteo Renzi, pulled the plug on the coalition headed by Giuseppe Conte. Renzi was not happy with the way Conte was handling the €200 billion emergency Covid recovery fund from the EU.