World: Italy's Draghi heads to president after government implodes

Italy's premier sets conditions to remain in office

  Italy's premier sets conditions to remain in office ROME (AP) — Italian Premier Mario Draghi said Wednesday the spontaneous shows of popular support for his government were “unprecedented and impossible to ignore,” as he weighed appeals to rescind his resignation, offered after a coalition partner triggered a government crisis. Draghi laid out priorities for Parliament to consider in rebuilding “from the top” the majority needed for the government to work efficiently, suggesting he was willing to stay on if they were embraced. Draghi directly challenged the 5-Star Movement to decide if they were on board or not, after the populists withheld support for the government in a confidence vote last week.

ROME (AP) — Italian Premier Mario Draghi’s national unity government appeared to be headed for collapse Thursday after key coalition allies boycotted a confidence vote, signaling the likelihood of an early election and a renewed period of uncertainty for Italy and Europe at a critical time.

Italian Premier Mario Draghi, background center, delivers his speech at the Parliament in Rome, Thursday, July 21, 2022. Italian Premier Mario Draghi has won a confidence vote in the Senate, but boycotts by three of his key coalition allies in the voting seem likely to have doomed the government's prospects of survival. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) © Provided by Associated Press Italian Premier Mario Draghi, background center, delivers his speech at the Parliament in Rome, Thursday, July 21, 2022. Italian Premier Mario Draghi has won a confidence vote in the Senate, but boycotts by three of his key coalition allies in the voting seem likely to have doomed the government's prospects of survival. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) Italian Premier Mario Draghi attends a debate at the Senate in Rome, Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Draghi was deciding Wednesday whether to confirm his resignation or reconsider appeals to rebuild his parliamentary majority after the populist 5-Star Movement triggered a crisis in the government by withholding its support. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) © Provided by Associated Press Italian Premier Mario Draghi attends a debate at the Senate in Rome, Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Draghi was deciding Wednesday whether to confirm his resignation or reconsider appeals to rebuild his parliamentary majority after the populist 5-Star Movement triggered a crisis in the government by withholding its support. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Draghi told Parliament's lower chamber on Thursday that he was heading to see President Sergio Mattarella, suggesting his resignation was imminent. Among his options, Mattarella could ask Draghi to stay on in a caretaker role until an early election.

Italy: Mario Draghi calls for a new "trust pact" to save her government

 Italy: Mario Draghi calls for a new © Guglielmo Mangiapane, Reuters Prime Minister Mario Draghi addresses Italian senators in Rome, July 20, 2022. Voting confidence must be organized in the two chambers of Parliament on Wednesday and Thursday, Prime Minister Mario Draghi addressed the Senators in the hope of saving his coalition government threatened by the defection of the 5 -star movement.

Draghi’s government imploded Wednesday after members of his uneasy coalition of right, left and populists rebuffed his appeal to band back together to finish the legislature’s natural term and ensure implementation of the European Union-funded coronavirus pandemic recovery program.

Instead, the center-right parties of Forza Italia and the League and the populist 5-Star Movement boycotted a confidence vote in the Senate, in a clear sign they were done with Draghi’s 17-month government.

Italian newspapers on Thursday were united in their outrage at the surreal outcome, given Italy is dealing with soaring inflation and energy costs, Russia’s war against Ukraine and outstanding reforms needed to clinch the remainder of the EU’s 200 billion euros in recovery funds.

Italy: Draghi on the departure after the implosion of its coalition

 Italy: Draghi on the departure after the implosion of its coalition © Andreas Solaro The Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi in the Senate, in Rome, on July 20, 2022. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi was given on Thursday , in the aftermath of a crazy day in Parliament which saw its coalition of national unity imploser, aroused concern in the markets and in Europe. Mr. Draghi is expected during the day with the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, to whom he should resign.

“Shame,” headlined La Stampa on the front page. “Italy Betrayed,” said La Repubblica. “Farewell to Draghi’s Government,” said Corriere della Sera.

Mattarella had rejected Draghi’s original resignation last week when he first offered it after the 5-Stars boycotted a confidence vote tied to a bill aimed at helping Italy endure soaring inflation and energy costs. Mattarella asked Draghi to return to Parliament to brief lawmakers on the situation, which he did on Wednesday in appealing to party leaders to listen to the calls for unity from ordinary Italians.

Italian Premier Mario Draghi pauses at the end of a debate at the Senate in Rome, Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Draghi was deciding Wednesday whether to confirm his resignation or reconsider appeals to rebuild his parliamentary majority after the populist 5-Star Movement triggered a crisis in the government by withholding its support. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia): Italy Politics © Provided by Associated Press Italy Politics

While the next steps were unclear, the outcome suggested Mattarella could dissolve Parliament, paving the way for early elections as soon as late September or early October. The legislature’s five-year term had been due to expire in 2023.

In briefing senators Wednesday, Draghi had appealed for the parties to heed the spontaneous appeals for unity from Italian mayors, doctors’ associations and ordinary citizens who had signed petitions in recent days begging Draghi to stay on.

“You don’t have to give the answer to me. You have to give it to all Italians,” he said.

Opinion polls have indicated neck-to-neck percentages for the center-left Democratic Party and the right-wing Brothers of Italy party, which had remained in the opposition to Draghi’s coalition.

The Democrats had tried to salvage its alliance with the 5-Stars, but the populist party has fractured over the crisis leaving the Democrats without a strong ally heading into a possible campaign.

The Brothers of Italy has long been allied with the center-right Forza Italia of ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi and the League of Matteo Salvini, suggesting that a center-right alliance would likely prevail in any election and propel Brothers’ leader Giorgia Meloni to become Italy’s first female premier.

Italy: "Russian shadows" on the political crisis? Salvini pointed out .
© Andreas Solaro, AFP Matteo Salvini in the middle of a conciliabule with senators from the Northern League, in the Senate in Rome, July 20, 2022. revealed by the newspaper La Stampa, contacts between the embassy Russian and the entourage of Matteo Salvini, upstream of the political crisis that currently shakes Italy, question the role of Russia in the fall of the government of Mario Draghi. Part of the political class is asking for explanations from the far -right leader on Thursday.

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