A Post-ECB Career in Italy for Draghi? Tria Says It’s Possible

(Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank President Mario Draghi could do “great things” for his home country when his term is done, Finance Minister Giovanni Tria said, noting that the ECB chief saved Europe and also shored up Italy by pledging to “do whatever it takes” to safeguard the euro.

“He could make a big contribution if he wants,” Tria said in an interview published Tuesday in Il Fatto Quotidiano. “He’s not going to retire, I suppose. Many possible careers are in store for him. Let’s see if he’s decided to commit himself to Italy.”

Tria was addressing the question of the moment for central bank watchers around the world and at the ECB’s Frankfurt headquarters. Though Draghi, who’ll step down at the end of October following an eight-year term, has been tight-lipped about his plans for the future, some analysts and experts have suggested he’ll seek a role in Italy after he leaves the ECB.

An ECB spokesman declined to comment on the report.

The 71-year-old Draghi, who hails from Rome, has worked as an economics professor in Italy, a financial diplomat at the World Bank, a bureaucrat at his country’s Treasury and a banker at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

From 2006 to 2011 he was Bank of Italy Governor and in that capacity sat on the ECB’s Governing Council while chairing an international panel of regulators charged with revising the rules of international finance.

Tria is a year younger than Draghi, and both studied at the same time at Rome’s La Sapienza University, where Tria earned a degree in law, while Draghi got his degree in economics.

Though Tria said he doesn’t carry a photo of Draghi with him, he called his colleague “an excellent ECB president,” Il Fatto reported. At a difficult time for his home country, Draghi “helped Italy a lot, even if his intention was wider than that.”

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