Italian Prime Minister resigns to seek new government as pandemic rages on – Times of India

Rome: Prime Minister Giuseppe Tale resigned Tuesday in hopes of forming a new government after weeks of turmoil in his ruling coalition, leaving Rudderless Italy as he battles the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
He submitted his resignation to the president Sergio Mattarella, the ultimate arbiter of Italian political crises, who invited him to remain on the interim until discussions on the outcome.
The uneasy coalition that has ruled Italy since September 2019 was fatally weakened earlier this month by the withdrawal of the former prime minister Matteo renziSmall but crucial Italia Viva evening.
Ahead of a key vote in parliament this week that he looked set to lose, Conte informed his cabinet on Tuesday that he would step down on what supporters said was a move to form a new government.
After the meeting with Mattarella, a spokesperson for the president said he “reserved the right to decide (what to do next) and called on the government to remain in office as guardian”.
Mattarella will open discussions with party leaders Wednesday afternoon which should culminate in Thursday – leaving a void atop the eurozone’s third largest economy at a crucial time.
Italy was the first European country to face the full force of the Covid-19 pandemic and has since suffered severely, with an economy plunged into recession and deaths rising by around 400 per day.
Parts of the country remain under partial lockdown, the immunization program has slowed down and a deadline looming to agree plans to spend billions of euros in European Union recovery funds.
Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, one of the leaders of the five-star populist movement (M5S), the largest in parliament, said earlier that it was time to rally around Conte.
“The country is going through one of the worst periods in its history due to the pandemic,” he tweeted on Monday evening. “Now we need unity, we all need to come together around Giuseppe Conte.”
– New mandate – Conte’s government has been on the verge of collapse since Renzi stepped down on January 13 in a row following the Prime Minister’s handling of the pandemic.
Renzi in particular warned that he risked wasting EU funds with a € 220 billion ($ 267 billion) spending plan that he said failed to address structural problems in the future. long term of Italy.
The prime minister survived a confidence vote in parliament last week, but failed to secure an overall majority in the upper house, the Senate.
Despite days of discussions with senators to seek their support, he looked set to lose a crucial vote on judicial reform in the coming days.
“Conte’s calculation is that by acting early and thus avoiding a humiliating defeat in the Senate later this week, he would increase his chances of securing a term from Mattarella to form a new government,” noted Wolfango Piccoli of the cabinet. Teneo advice.
Nicola Zingaretti, center-left leader Democratic party (PD), the coalition’s other main partner, has so far supported Conte.
He tweeted that he was “with Conte for a new government that is clearly pro-European and supported by a broad parliamentary base”.
– Ditch Conte? – But more lawmakers will be needed to form a viable new government – and “it is currently unclear whether Conte can succeed in such an effort,” Piccoli noted.
If he cannot, the M5S and the PD could “abandon Conte and seek another candidate” to lead a new coalition government.
They are keen to avoid early elections, which, according to opinion polls, would lead to the victory of the center-right coalition including the billionaire former prime minister. Silvio berlusconiof Go Italy and the far-right League party of Matteo Salvini.
Conte, a once obscure law professor, has proven remarkably adept at navigating the deemed turbulent waters of Italian politics.
Since the 2018 elections, he has been at the head of two governments with different political nuances.
The first was a split-second and shamelessly populist coalition between the M5S and the Salvini League, which ended when the latter withdrew in August 2019.
Conte then chaired another unlikely coalition – the so-called Conte II government – between the M5S and the PD, two former sworn enemies.

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