MILAN — Italy’s government has chosen European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice President Dario Scannapieco as the new head of state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), two sources close to the matter said on Thursday.
The Italian Treasury, which controls CDP, will present the nomination at a meeting of the state lender’s shareholders later on Thursday, who will then make the appointment official.
Scannapieco, a 53-year-old economist, will replace Fabrizio Palermo, whose three-year term as chief executive officer of CDP expires this week.
The move is part of a wider reshuffle of key positions in state companies driven by Prime Minister Mario Draghi as the country prepares to spend 220 billion euros ($268.47 billion) of EU funds.
On Wednesday evening state-owned railway operator Ferrovie dello Stato said it had appointed Luigi Ferraris chief executive officer. The new CEO will have to manage around 30 billion euros of EU funds pledged to strengthen the country’s infrastructure.
CDP, which holds stakes in phone company Telecom Italia and broadband network operator Open Fiber, is set to play a decisive role in enhancing the country’s digital infrastructure as Italy plans to spend more than 8 billion euros of EU funds on broadband, 5G and satellite technologies.
The 170-year-old Italian state-backed investor, which has controlling stakes in key energy companies, has been increasingly active in recent years to keep strategic assets in national hands and mitigate the economic ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It invests savings made by Italians through the national post office network Poste Italiane while its debt is not booked as part of Italy’s mammoth public debt-pile.
Scannapieco began his job as EIB vice president in 2007 and was renewed for two terms, in 2013 and 2019. He had been touted for the CDP job already back in 2018 but lost out to Palermo in political negotiations among the ruling coalition of the time, made up of the 5-Star Movement and the right-wing League. ($1 = 0.8195 euros) (Reporting by Stefano Bernabei and Francesca Landini, writing by Maria Pia Quaglia, Editing by Christian Schmollinger)