Mario Draghi, the banker turned prime minister, has this week laid before the Rome parliament his ambitious plan for recovery expenditure for Italy from its current crisis – one compounded, though not entirely caused, by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The plan will cost around €235 billion – mostly from EU funds for Covid recovery. It has received outline approval from the EU Commission, despite reservations. Before taking it to his cabinet on Saturday, Draghi discussed the matter privately with the Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen.