Italy’s president seeks a ‘non-political’ government to lead during pandemic
Rome: The President of Italy has summoned former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi to a Wednesday meeting after announcing he wants the quick formation of a non-political government to lead Italy during the coronavirus pandemic.
Addressing the nation on Tuesday night, President Sergio Mattarella said negotiations to try to forge a new government out of the collapsed coalition of Premier Giuseppe Conte had failed.
Mattarella said Italy can’t afford to suffer through a months-long campaign and early parliamentary election during a “crucial moment” of the pandemic. He appealed to all political parties in Parliament to support the formation of what he called a non-political government.
Mattarella didn’t say who he might tap to lead that government. But the individual would likely be someone highly respected and considered by parties to be above the political fray.
Nicknamed “Super Mario,” the 73-year-old Draghi was credited with playing a crucial role in saving Europe’s single currency, the euro, when he was the European Central Bank’s president.
The pandemic has devastated Italy’s long-stagnant economy and left the country with Europe’s second-highest COVID-19 death toll.
Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella.Credit:AP
During the last-ditch discussions that failed Tuesday, the parties in what is now Conte’s caretaker government squabbled over European Union pandemic aid and other key policy issues that were blocking formation of a more solid coalition..
Earlier, former premier Matteo Renzi gave a thumbs-down Tuesday to the fragile prospects for reviving Italy’s collapsed government through a revamped political coalition after days of frantic negotiations.
Renzi tweeted that he and his tiny Italy Alive party concluded there was a “rupture” in the uphill efforts to bridge policy differences with the parties that were the other partners in Conte’s government.
Conte resigned last week after Renzi yanked his ministers to protest what he said was the premier’s clumsy handling of the coronavirus pandemic. His government currently is acting a caretaking capacity.
During the last-ditch discussions, the parties in what is now Conte’s caretaker government squabbled over European Union pandemic aid and other key policy issues that were blocking formation of a more solid coalition.
Renzi put all the blame on the failed effort on the other parties, saying, “We take note of the ‘nyet’ of the colleagues of the ex-coalition,” using the Russian word for “no.”
In turn, the populist 5-Star Movement, which was the main partner in both Conte’s governments since he came to power in 2018, contended that all Renzi wanted was more power.
“It’s obvious that the aim was to obtain more (Cabinet) posts. This was his most pressing” goal in provoking the crisis, said Vito Crimi, a 5-Star leader.
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