Draghi resignation refused by President

Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi tenders resignation


Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi tendered his resignation yesterday to President Sergio Mattarella. It follows the withdrawal of support by the coalition partner Five-Star Movement (M5S).

Draghi, the former head of the European Central Bank, has led a unity government since February 2021. He visited President Mattarella yesterday afternoon, but the president refused to accept his resignation.

President Sergio Mattarella appointed Draghi to lead Italy’s post-Covid pandemic recovery. He has now called on Draghi to address parliament to provide a clear picture of the political situation. It is expected the PM will address parliament next Wednesday.

If the PM receives enough backing from the parties, he could remain in office. However, the centre- and far-right parties, including Brothers of Italy, League and Forza Italia are calling for early elections.

How the day developed

The M5S leader Giuseppe Conte refused to back the government‘s €23bn (£19.5bn) package of economic aid for families and businesses. His argument being Draghi was not doing enough to tackle the cost of living crisis.

Conte’s party said the government’s economic package was insufficient to tackle a looming social crisis. Right up to the Senate vote, attempts were made to resolve the coalition crisis. Milan’s stock market tumbled 3.4%. Italy is the eurozone’s third biggest economy.

Despite M5S not supporting the government’s package, the vote in the Senate still passed comfortably with the support of other parties.

Draghi had repeatedly warned that without M5S’s support the government could not continue. He paid an hour-long visit to President Mattarella. After reflecting on his future, he then issued his statement of resignation.

“Today’s votes in Parliament are very significant from a political point of view. The national unity majority that supported this government since its creation no longer exists,” he said. After addressing ministers he returned to the Quirinale palace to tender his resignation to the president.

“Cynical plan to bring down government”

Former M5S party leader and Foreign Secretary Luigi di Maio broke away from the party recently. He accused M5S of a cynical plan to bring down the Draghi government to revive its own support, at the same time dragging Italy to economic and social collapse.

M5S was originally the biggest party in Mr Draghi’s broad-based coalition having won the biggest portion of the vote in the 20118 election. However, it has seen a string of defections and falling support.

The political uncertainty could jeopardise Italy’s efforts to tackle a looming energy crisis and pass next year’s budget to secure EU funding. European Union Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, said the EU’s executive was watching developments in Rome “with worried astonishment”. The head of Italy’s industry group Confindustria said M5S’s decision had shown “total irresponsibility”.

Elections are due early in 2023. However, with the current instability, it is possible a vote will take place this autumn.

Leave a Reply