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Draghi's Farewell

After eight years at the helm of the European Central Bank, 72-year-old Mario Draghi's term draws to a close on 31 October. He presided over his last Governing Council meeting on 24 October and had his official farewell during a ceremony in Frankfurt on 28 October, which was addressed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian President Sergio Mattarella. The Governor of the Central Bank of Malta, Dr Mario Vella, was among the distinguished guests.

In his farewell speech, Mr Draghi referred to the fact that there were 11 million more people in work since the introduction of monetary union, noting that public trust in the euro had risen to its highest level ever.

"This is only a start," he said, after listing the milestones of the past decades, "but it suggests our union is moving in the right direction. I am confident that it will continue to do so, because it is ultimately the self-interest of individual countries that lays out our future path towards a European sovereign.

"...There were many occasions during the crisis where the ECB found itself in truly uncharted waters. We faced, by any measure, an incredibly complex economic situation, with new challenges appearing the moment old ones were resolved."

He used his speech to call for unity among policymakers, reminding them of the 'bigger picture': "What unites the Governing Council has always been - and will always be - much greater than anything that might divide it. We all share the same devotion to our mandate and the same passion for Europe. I trust that this shared conviction will continue to serve the ECB and Europe in the years to come."

Mr Draghi is succeeded as President of the ECB by 63-year-old Christine Lagarde, the former President of the International Monetary Fund. She was nominated by the European Council on July 2, 2019 and received the backing of the European Parliament on September 17, 2019. She takes over officially on 1 November. 

Draghi's Farewell

Credit: European Central Bank

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