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Draghi uses history to drive home message of European unity

European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi
Sean Gallup | Getty Images

International collaboration is the only way to solve problems that are too big for countries to tackle alone, Mario Draghi told an awards ceremony Monday in Turin.

Today's situation offers frequent reminders of the dark days of the past, the European Central Bank (ECB) President said, as he collected the 2016 Cavour Prize for – in the words of the Cavour Foundation - having maintained the central bank's independence in the face of challenges while implementing measures to boost growth and deflect deflation.

Philippe Huguen | AFP | Getty Images

Draghi turned to Camillo Cavour, a key figure in Italy's late 19th century unification and after whom the prize was named, to invoke the spirit of unity.

According to the ECB chief, Cavour's love of Italy was so strong that he never stopped believing that his country needed Europe to grow, progress and improve.

Cavour's relationship with Europe, continued Draghi, was founded on a solidarity stemming from recognition of the mutual benefits and responsibilities of the independent nation states toward one another.

Drawing further on parallels with the leading statesman's approach, Draghi emphasized the opposition Cavour had faced and his ability to unify the country despite internal and external challenges and instability on the broader continent, calling him "an irresistible source of inspiration for anyone".

Draghi donated the approximately €3,000 ($3,223) prize money to communities affected by recent earthquakes in central Italy.

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