Italian Prime Minister to offer resignation as government wobbles

Giuseppe Conte survived two confidence votes in Parliament last week but crucially lost his absolute majority in the Senate with the defection of an ally.

January 26, 2021 12:52 am | Updated 12:53 am IST - Rome

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte will formally tell his wobbly coalition government on Tuesday that he intends to offer his resignation, his office said Monday.

Mr. Conte survived two confidence votes in Parliament last week but crucially lost his absolute majority in the Senate with the defection of a centrist ally, ex-Premier Matteo Renzi. That hobbled his government's effectiveness in the middle of the pandemic.

Mr. Conte's office said on Monday night that the Premier will inform his Cabinet at a meeting on Tuesday morning of his “will to go to the Quirinale (presidential palace) to hand in his resignation." Then Mr. Conte intends to head to the palace to meet with President Sergio Mattarella, who, as head of state, can accept the resignation, possibly asking the Premier to try to form a more solid coalition that can command a majority in Parliament.

Mr. Mattarella could also reject the offer. But he has frequently stressed the need for the nation to have solid leadership as it struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, with its devastating effects on Italy's long-stagnant economy.

After consultations, the President could also accept the resignation and tap someone else to try to form a government. If no one can forge a more viable, dependable coalition, Mr. Mattarella has the option of dissolving Parliament, setting the stage for elections two years early.

Mr. Conte has led a long-bickering center-left coalition for 16 months. Before that, for 15 months, he headed a government still with the populist 5-Star Movement, Parliament's largest party, but in coalition with the right-wing League party of Matteo Salvini.

That first government collapsed when Mr. Salvini yanked his support in a failed bid to win the premiership for himself.

Top News Today

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.