The 63-year-old economist and banker has been given the post for eight years and will replace current ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet, who steps down on Oct. 31. His appointment had been thrown into doubt with the refusal of another Italian, Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, to step down from the ECB executive board. France, who would have been left without representation on the board after the departure of Trichet, previously implied that it would not back Draghi for the top job unless Bini Smaghi was replaced with someone French.Chancellor Merkel insists that no pressure was applied on Signor Smaghi; or if it was, it would in any way endanger the ECB's independence. Well, she would say that, wouldn't she.
Initially, Bini Smaghi -- who is not due to leave his post until May 2013 -- refused to yield his position. But European sources said Friday that he had assured EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy and French President Nicolas Sarkozy that he would relinquish his role in the coming weeks.
Will this make any difference? Unlikely. It looks like Greece will receive a second tranche of other people's money, will promise to mend its ways and will ignore all those promises. Until the next time, which will come very soon.