Italy to appoint veteran economist Barbieri as new Treasury head

ROME, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Italy’s government is set to appoint veteran economist Riccardo Barbieri as director general of the Treasury, replacing Alessandro Rivera in the influential position, the economy ministry said on Thursday. Financial Post Top Stories Sign up to receive the daily top stories from the Financial Post, a division of Postmedia Network…
Italy to appoint veteran economist Barbieri as new Treasury head

ROME, Jan 19 (Reuters) –

Italy’s government is set to appoint veteran economist Riccardo Barbieri as director general of the Treasury, replacing Alessandro Rivera in the influential position, the economy ministry said on Thursday.

Financial Post Top Stories

Sign up to receive the daily top stories from the Financial Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.

By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails or any newsletter. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300

The move marks a victory for new Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who was looking to remove Rivera and put her stamp on key positions.

Barbieri, 64, is currently the ministry’s chief economist. Previously he has worked for major investment banks, including J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

“A cosmopolitan former banker and chief economist, Barbieri is one of the Treasury senior officials who liaises more frequently with Brussels,” said Francesco Galietti, head of political risk consultancy Policy Sonar.

“He is well known by capital markets and eurocrats,” Galietti added, saying his promotion was a safe choice.

Among other nominees, the ministry proposed that Biagio Mazzotta be confirmed as state auditor. The cabinet was due to meet at 6.30 p.m. (1730 GMT) on Thursday to ratify the appointments.

The ministry also said it was planning an overhaul of its internal structure to ensure the achievement of “important European and international targets.”

The statement gave no details, but political sources had previously said Meloni wanted to bring management of

Italy’s post-COVID recovery plan

under her direct control.

The role of Treasury director general is especially powerful in Italy, where bureaucrats get a substantial say in economic policy making and oversight of state-controlled companies against the backdrop of regularly revolving governments.

Previous incumbents have included Mario Draghi, who later became governor of the European Central Bank and Italian prime minister, and former economy ministers Domenico Siniscalco and Vittorio Grilli.

‘VERY BADLY HANDLED’

The Treasury chief deputizes for the economy minister at G7 and G20 meetings and his department manages a public debt of roughly 150% of national output, the second highest in the euro zone after Greece’s.

Government sources have said Meloni was unhappy with Rivera’s handling of some of Italy’s main financial dossiers, notably efforts to relaunch the country’s fifth largest bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS).

MPS is 64%-owned by the Treasury following a 2017 bailout that cost taxpayers 5.4 billion euros ($5.8 billion).

Meloni said last month that MPS had been “very badly handled” at the expense of Italian taxpayers in the past — a remark which some politicians took as an indirect criticism of the ousted Treasury chief.

Rivera had declined any comment on his future or track record in recent weeks.

Rivera spent much of his career within the economy ministry, specializing in the handling of banking and financial crises. He was appointed to the director general role in 2018 under Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and was confirmed in the job by Draghi in 2021.

A number of other senior roles will also be up for grabs in the coming weeks, including places on the boards of state-controlled energy groups ENI and Enel.

The boards of MPS, defense group Leonardo and power grid Terna are also due for renewal shortly, while a new Bank of Italy governor will have to be found when Ignazio Visco finishes his term at the end of October. ($1 = 0.9242 euros) (Editing by Crispian Balmer, Keith Weir and Catherine Evans)

Read More

Total
0
Shares
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts
Ukraine Latest: EU Russia Oil Ban Stumbles on Hungary’s Holdout
Read More

Ukraine Latest: EU Russia Oil Ban Stumbles on Hungary’s Holdout

Author of the article: Bloomberg News Bloomberg News Bloomberg News (Bloomberg) — Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said “new stiff U.S. sanctions” are coming on Russia. U.S. first lady Jill Biden crossed into Ukraine from Slovakia for an unannounced visit. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a surprise trip to Kyiv.  Hungary continues to block…
Defaced Putin Mural Tells the Story of Russia’s Waning Influence
Read More

Defaced Putin Mural Tells the Story of Russia’s Waning Influence

Serbia’s pro-Moscow stance looks increasingly hollow as the country juggles its economic interests and courts Chinese and Arab money. Author of the article: Bloomberg News Rodney Jefferson and Misha Savic vzy25ia2pqf57[eolsqyv4)2_media_dl_1.png Bloomberg RSS (Bloomberg) — The face of Vladimir Putin daubed onto a building on the corner of a street in Belgrade has the eyes and mouth covered in red…
GE sees risks from war in Ukraine, but retains 2022 earnings forecast
Read More

GE sees risks from war in Ukraine, but retains 2022 earnings forecast

Author of the article: Reuters Rajesh Kumar Singh GREENVILLE — General Electric Co on Thursday reiterated its 2022 earnings forecast, but said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has added to business uncertainty. The Boston-based industrial conglomerate last month warned that its profits would suffer in the first half of this year due to persistent supply-chain and…
Calling time on QE, central bank asset cull adds new market risks
Read More

Calling time on QE, central bank asset cull adds new market risks

Author of the article: Reuters Howard Schneider and William Schomberg Major central banks, already plotting interest rate hikes in a fight against inflation, are also preparing a common pullback from key financial markets in a first-ever round of global “quantitative tightening” expected to restrict credit and add stress to an already-slowing world economy. The U.S.…