Who can stop him now? Bild, Germany’s mass-market newspaper, has done a volte-face and backed Mario Draghi as the next European Central Bank president. The Italian central bank governor is pictured on page 2 of today’s edition wearing a awkward smile and a Prussian spiked helmet. According to Bild, Draghi is now being backed privately by Angela Merkel (as the FT has written).
Bild’s past opposition to an Italian having control over Germans’ currency was previously seen as a big obstacle to Draghi’s chances (not, of course, that the Berlin government is swayed by such things). Today Bild asks: “But how Italian is Draghi really? At second glance he is rather German, even really Prussian.” Bild praises him for his toughness (his parents both died when he was young), his focus and down-to-earth character. As a result, “Bild awards him honorary German citizenship”.