Italy in crisis after president rejects Eurosceptic as economy minister

An attempt to form a government in Italy has failed after the president rejected the choice of a Eurosceptic in the role of economy minister • The move has angered Cinque Stelle and Lega, the anti-establishment parties trying to form a coalition government

Italy's President Sergio Mattarella  (Photo:BBC)
Italy's President Sergio Mattarella (Photo:BBC)

Aattempt to form a government in Italy has failed after the president rejected the choice of a Eurosceptic in the role of economy minister • The move has angered Cinque Stelle and Lega, the anti-establishment parties trying to form a coalition government.

Italian prime minister-designate Giuseppe Conte’s attempt to form a government were blocked on Sunday by the country’s president.

Conte gave up on the bid to form a government after President Sergio Mattarella vetoed his choice for economy minister. Mattarella used his power to reject the appointment of strong eurosceptic Paolo Savona in the role of economy minister.

The move has angered two anti-establishment parties – Cinque Stelle and Lega - that have been locked in talks for the past fortnight in a bid to form a coalition government. Conte, a political novice, was the compromise candidate agreed to by Cinque Stelle and Lega.

The election last March did not deliver a clear winner, and although Cinque Stelle emerged as the largest single party, it was forced to seek a coalition partner. The arrangement with Lega will give the coalition enough parliamentary numbers to pass legislation.

But the bid floundered on Sunday evening with the president’s veto.

Cinque Stelle leader Luigi di Maio described the situation as “an institutional clash without precedent” and said he will seek Mattarella’s impeachment.

Similar harsh views were expressed by the leader of Lega, Matteo Salvini, who charged the president of ignoring the popular will.

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