Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Eyes on Italy's president after he vetoes populists' choice

Eyes on Italy's president after he vetoes populists' choice

Giuseppe Conte has refused to be Italy's prime minister, Ugo Zampetti, secretary-general at the presidency, said on Sunday.

Italy's would-be coalition parties turned up the pressure on President Sergio Mattarella on Saturday to endorse their eurosceptic pick as economy minister, saying the only other option may be a new election.

After inconclusive March 4 elections, they proposed a political novice, law professor Giuseppe Conte, as their choice to lead the next government.

Italian president Sergio Mattarella approved Conte as PM, but the stumbling block came when the latter nominated a fierce eurosceptic as finance minister.

The situation is fluid with President Mattarella maintaining that he will wait before making any decision, but new elections are now a distinct possibility.

This was the first time in the history of the Italian republic that a president had thrown out the proposal for a government from elected parties, and even critics of the populist victors have acknowledged that the Italian people will take the move as a slap to Italian voters and the entire democratic process.

He accepted the mandate to form a tehnocratic and politically "neutral" government before new elections are held by the beginning of next year.

But as analyst Wolfango Piccoli noted early Monday that such a government risks losing mandatory confidence votes in each chamber of Parliament.

Foa blasted the decision as "really shocking", as it's becoming quite obvious that the president is not acting in Italy's best interests, but rather in the interests of the European Union which he does not wish to "disturb".

Cottarelli said in such a case, the government's principal job "would be the ordinary administration of government and to accompany the country to elections after the month of August".

Mattarella spoke to reporters Sunday night after Premier-Designate Giuseppe Conte announced that he didn't succeed in forming what would have been Western Europe's first populist government.

Mattarella vetoed the nomination, but the M5S and League refused to back down, both calling to impeach the president.

Mr Mattarella is expected to ask former International Monetary Fund official Carlo Cottarelli on Monday to head a stopgap government amidst political and constitutional turmoil.

"I have given up my mandate to form the government of change", said lawyer and political novice Giuseppe Conte, 53, plunging the country into a political crisis almost three months after March's inconclusive general election.

"Looking further ahead, it is hard to see how Italy can emerge from the ongoing political-institutional crisis in a better place politically", he said.

League and 5-Star "have a parliamentary majority".

Savona, who served as industry minister in a government in the 1990s, has questioned whether Italy at some point should ditch the euro as its official currency.

Outgoing Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Sunday that the problem was not Savona, but the coalition's economic plan, which is "clearly unsustainable". "It seems a stretch", Salvini said.

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