Italian government faces criticism over consulting contract with McKinsey over EU funds
March 6, 2021
ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government is facing criticism for hiring consulting giant McKinsey to help it rewrite plans for spending the European Union funds aimed at rebuilding the economy.
The government said on Saturday it had signed a 25,000 euro ($30,000) contract with McKinsey to look at the issue. It did not give details of how much work the firm would do, but the sum is very small by the standards of consulting firm costs.
An Italian official told Reuters that McKinsey was willing to work pro bono but the government insisted that they have at least expenses paid.
A representative for McKinsey had no comments.
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Italy’s Government Is Outsourcing Its Economic Strategy To Private Management Consultants McKinsey
By David Broder
Upon its formation last month, Mario Draghi’s new government was heralded by almost all Italian and international media as a rescue operation. Where the former European Central Bank (ECB) chief Draghi had “saved the euro” in the 2010s, most outlets gushed over “Super Mario” and his plan to “save Italy” by splashing a mooted €209 billion in European recovery fund cash while “reforming” its lackluster economy.
The kind of “reforms” this meant went unmentioned — and after all, this government bears no relation to voter decisions, or the coalitions that ran in the last general election. But for the fourth time since the 1990s, a president called on a technocrat from the world of finance and banking to form a cabinet, halfway through a parliament. Eight of Draghi’s twenty-three ministers are unelected technocrats, in a so-called government of experts.
If these figures are not party-political, they have similar backgrounds and instincts. Economy minister Daniele Franco is a former Bank of Italy official who drafted the famous 2011 ECB letter instructing the government to implement privatizations and cut back collective bargaining. Former Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao — today innovation and digital transition minister — is a former partner at private consultants McKinsey & Company.
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