Italy to appoint veteran economist Barbieri as new Treasury head

By Giuseppe Fonte ROME (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. 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.