(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 16, 2022 Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi holds a press conference with the heads of state of Ukraine, France, Romania and Germany at Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv. - Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi handed in his resignation on July 21, 2022, the office of President said, after his national unity coalition government crumbled. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

The Milan Stock Exchange crashes, Italian bank stocks lose, loans become more expensive for Italy. All consequences of Prime Minister Draghi’s resignation after failing to get his coalition behind him in the confidence vote.

Draghi, the “most important living Italian” (“Corriere della Sera”), fell, according to the widespread belief, in the petty interests of the parties.

“The best always go,” headlined the government-critical newspaper “Il fatto quotidiano” the day after, expressing two things in an almost ingenious way: the sigh of business and the world at Draghi’s departure, but also another, less obvious reality: the Illusion that there is such a thing as a government of the “best”. So: the non-politicians, those who simply “do” it because they “can” do it.

Now Mario Draghi could obviously central bank: first as governor of the Banca d’Italia, then as head of the European Central Bank. His role as the bold savior of the euro is legendary – no matter what it costs, “whatever it takes”.

But he was obviously less good at politics, and he also recognized this, admittedly too late. As early as January, when he had not been in office for a year, he was drawn to the Quirinal hill. He would rather become president than train a coalition from half left to far right and ultimately ten parties. But because he was considered a guarantor of stability towards Brussels and nobody wanted early elections, he had to stay.

“The best” has a ring to it in Italy, where Roman history is still present: “Optimates”, the best, is what the conservative senate faction of the Roman Republic called itself in the 2nd century BC. The best? They too were politicians, simply representing their interests. What else?

Nevertheless, in her homeland of all places, the myth has persisted for more than two millennia that there could be something like the rule of the experts – experts? – who put the annoying, dirty politics in their place and simply do “the right thing”.

Draghi is a supporter of this misconception, probably even an honest believer. In his speech before the Senate, he again invoked a government of “national unity” and raved about how everyone had put their interests aside “in the national interest”.

Whatever that is – the interest of the big companies or the small retirees? Or the taxi mafia and the beach tenants who don’t want any competition, the small self-employed who have something against taxes? Which may not be very heroic, but legitimate interests. In Italy they vote for Lega and Forza Italia, Germans for example FDP.

The only difference is that there is no electoral law in Germany that rewards even the smallest particular interests as it does there. Changing this would have been worth the sweat of the noble, pardon: the best. But no, parliamentary democracy, the civilized confrontation of interests and their reconciliation, was also identified as a problem in this crisis.

That a head of government understands so little about politics and, mind you, shows contempt for democracy, one might find sad or understandable given his socialization in the chain of command of banks. It becomes dangerous when the public applauds, as happened on Thursday.

The crisis in Rome is not European, Draghi continues to run the business. But it seems that Europe does not only have a problem with democracy in Hungary and Poland.