Italy stuck in political limbo, prospect of early election grows

ROME: Italy might need early elections to overcome a political impasse, government officials said on Friday, after Prime Minister Mario Draghi tendered his resignation in the wake of a mutiny by a coalition partner.

President Sergio Mattarella rejected Draghi’s resignation on Thursday and asked him to address parliament next week to get a clearer picture of the political situation.

If unity cannot return swiftly to government ranks, the only alternative would be for an election to be called in the autumn, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said, warning that an early vote would be welcomed by Russia, but would damage Italy’s economy.

“If Draghi falls, we vote,” he told RTL radio, adding that without a fully functioning government in the coming months, Italy would risk losing billions of euros in European Union post-pandemic recovery funds and would not be able to enact measures to combat climbing energy costs.

“The Draghi government and the coalition that supported it must continue, but right now I see it as very, very difficult.”

Draghi’s 18-month-old government was thrown into turmoil by the populist 5-Star Movement, which boycotted a parliamentary confidence motion on Thursday on Draghi’s plans to tackle the growing cost of living, arguing they did not go far enough.


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