Italian Prime Minister Confirms To Cabinet That He Is Resigning: Government Source

26 Janvier, 2021, 15:31 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte gestures as he speaks ahead of a confidence vote at the upper house of parliament after former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi pulled his party out of government in Rome

Conte, in power since 2018, quit after ex-PM Matteo Renzi pulled his Italia Viva party out of the governing coalition.

Conte has convened his cabinet at 09.00, during which he will inform his ministers of his intention to resign.

After the meeting with Mattarella, a spokesman for the president said he "reserves the right to decide (what to do next) and invited the government to stay in office in a caretaker capacity".

But his efforts have floundered and lawmakers from the co-ruling Democratic Party (PD) said he needed to stand down and open formal negotiations in order to win time to create a new coalition. But he has frequently stressed the need for the nation to have solid leadership as it struggles with the Covid-19 pandemic, with its devastating effects on Italy's long-stagnant economy.

"We all have to gather around Giuseppe Conte".

He warned that he and M5S risked squandering the European Union billions on vote-winning handouts rather than addressing structural issues.

The government no longer had an absolute majority in the Senate after ex-premier Matteo Renzi's Italia Viva (IV) party triggered a crisis by withdrawing its support.

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Mattarella, who is the largely ceremonial head of state, can ask Conte to try to form a broader coalition government, appoint a largely technical government to steer the country through the pandemic, or he can dissolve parliament and call elections two years early.

So Mr Conte is hoping that the threat of losing their seats might tempt enough centrist politicians to jump the opposition ship and join a reformed coalition.

The Democrats' leader, Nicola Zingaretti, rooted in a tweet for a new Conte government that would be "clearly pro-Europe and backed by a wide parliamentary base that would guarantee credibility and stability to face the great challenges that Italy has before it".

Since then Conte has focused on trying to entice centrist and independent senators to the government's ranks to broaden his majority.

Conte, a once obscure law professor, has proved himself remarkably adept at navigating the famously choppy waters of Italian politics.

The first was a fractious coalition between M5S and Salvini's League, which ended when the latter pulled out in August 2019.

Conte went on to preside over another unlikely coalition - the so-called Conte II government - between M5S and the PD, two former sworn enemies.

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