He was the president of the European Central Bank in the difficult years of the recession and the post-crisis. He now leaves it in Christine Lagarde’s “good hands”, to use his own words. Mario Draghi took the floor at the ceremony held today at the premises of the Frankfurt-based bank to mark the end of his mandate as ECB president. The President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, spoke at the event, saying that “during these eight years”, Mr Draghi “has been authoritatively at the service of a more solid and inclusive Europe, interpreting the defence of the single currency as a battle to be led with determination against the forces that wanted to destroy it”. According to Mr Mattarella, the EU economic and monetary system is stronger now than in the past, when there were even fears that “the Eurosystem might collapse”. As for the future of integration, Mr Mattarella underlined: “Completing the ‘European project’ becomes – in the current context – a fundamental need, if the Union really wants to become a global player”. French President Emmanuel Macron said that Mario Draghi is “a worthy heir of the founding fathers of Europe”. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid tribute to Mr Draghi: “Your leadership has been a crucial contribution to the stability of the Eurozone”. And Christine Lagarde, who will take office on 1 November, thanked her predecessor, saying: “In your work, you showed great commitment to European citizens”.