Italian president refuses to accept PM Mario Draghi’s resignation after coalition collapse

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Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi (AFP via Getty Images)
Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi (AFP via Getty Images)

Italy’s prime minister Mario Draghi has offered his resignation after a coalition party pulled its support for him but the country’s president has rejected it.

Mr Draghi said he would quit hours after populist coalition partner Five Star failed to vote with him in a vote of confidence.

However, President Sergio Mattarella turned down his resignation and told him to address parliament to see if he can still command a majority. Mr Draghi could speak to parliament next week, according to Italian media.

The former head of the European Central Bank has led a unity government since February 2021.

But Five Star leader Giuseppe Conte, who has been in coalition with Draghi, accused him of not doing enough to tackle the cost of living crisis.

His party refused to side with the Prime Minister over differences on the direction of the economy.

Five Star Boycotted the confidence vote.

In a statement, Draghi said the pact of trust that had sustained the unity government had gone.

Draghi added that he had made the “utmost commitment to continue on the common path,” while trying to meet the demands of the political parties.

However, he said: “I will hand my resignation to the president of the republic this evening,”

The prime minister has insisted repeatedly that the government will not continue without Five Star.

After the vote, which he won even without the support of Five Star, he immediately set off to see President Sergio Mattarella and indicated he would quit.

The confidence vote on Thursday was associated with a multi-billion package of economic aid for families and businesses.

The €23bn (£19.5bn) package cleared the lower house last week but Mr Conte has warned that Italy is facing a serious social crisis that will erupt in September

He warned: “We have to face the uncomfortable reality of our citizens.”

The Five Star party was the largest in the last election in 2018, but its support has fallen in the last few years and there have also been a number of defections.

It could mean national elections as early as September or October after coalition parties said there should be a vote if 5-Star no longer supported the government. In polling the party is estimated to have on 11 per cent of the national vote.

The Milan stock exchange down three percentage points after Draghi’s announcement.

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