Italy faces political crisis as prime minister’s resignation is declined by the president

Italy faces political crisis as prime minister’s resignation is declined by the president
FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi attends a news conference during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium June 24, 2022. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/File Photo

Mario Draghi, Italy’s prime minister and chief executive, tendered his resignation to the Italian president on Thursday. But, it was declined, with President Sergio Mattarella saying that it was up to Draghi to address the Italian Parliament to give a clear picture of the situation that led to his resignation.

Italy’s government can be formed by either a party in the majority or, in Draghi’s case, when there’s a coalition among minority parties. And that coalition had been collapsing for a little while, with a recent vote on economic aid for families clarifying that divide. Five Star, one of the largest parties in the coalition government, refused to back Draghi’s version of the economic aid package. Even though the confidence vote sailed through anyways, Draghi said it was a sign that the coalition had collapsed.

Five Star has been accused by its former members of looking to take down the Draghi administration to bolster its own support while at the same time, leading the country into some pretty bad places both socially and economically.

Key comments:

“Today’s votes in Parliament are very significant from a political point of view," said Draghi after an hour-long visit to President Mattarella. “The national unity majority that supported this government since its creation no longer exists."

“The fact that Draghi was the prime minister was quite reassuring; he brought this kind of credibility," said senior economist Sabrina Khanniche at Pictet Asset Management. “This is quite challenging. It’s adding to problems the eurozone is already facing."

“The President of the Republic did not accept the resignation and invited the Prime Minister to appear before Parliament to make communications, so that an assessment of the situation that has arisen as a result of the outcome of the session held today in the Senate of the Republic could be carried out in its proper forum," the Italian Presidency said in a statement.