Italian President Mattarella rejects Prime Minister Draghi’s resignation

Draghi’s measures – a package designed to tackle Italy’s cost-of-living crisis – were passed by 172 votes to 39. However, a five-star boycott puts the government at real risk of collapse and could lead to early elections.

After winning the vote but losing the support of 5-Star, Draghi said in a statement, “I want to announce that I will be submitting my resignation to the President of the Republic tonight.”

“Today’s votes in parliament are very significant from a political point of view. There is no longer that part of national unity that has supported this government since its inception,” he added.

He has previously stated that he will not lead a government that does not include 5 stars.

However, Italian President Sergio Mattarella rejected Draghi’s resignation, instead asking Draghi to address parliament to assess the political situation, the Italian president said in a statement.

“The President of the Republic did not accept the resignation and invited the Prime Minister to appear before Parliament for a speech to assess the situation arising from the Senate meeting today. The Republic could be held in its proper forum,” the statement said.

Several Italian political parties supported Mattarella’s decision.

“Italy, at this difficult moment, cannot do without Draghi,” wrote Renato Brunetta, Minister of State for the Forza Italia party, in a Facebook post.

Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio called the decision of his former 5 Star Movement party “a clear act of irresponsibility that dooms the country to an abyss.” Di Maio left the party in June, creating a new party called Together for the Future.

In a statement, Di Maio’s party supported the president’s decision and called Draghi a “precious and fundamental” figure.

“We are working to get a strong majority in parliament in support of this government on Wednesday,” the statement said.

But Georgia Meloni, leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy, the only opposition party, called for “immediate elections.”

“This country is in a storm,” Meloni said, listing all the difficulties at the international and national level, from the war in Ukraine to rising energy prices.

The populist 5 Star movement objected to Draghi’s cost-of-living package on the grounds that he did not go far enough after threatening to withdraw his support for a long time.

The financing of the incinerator in Rome was also a serious stumbling block, which angered the 5 star movement.

“We are against this decree in terms of method and substance, in particular with regard to the incineration plant. This is crazy,” said Maria Domenica Castellone, leader of the 5-star movement in the Senate, during a debate on Thursday.

Draghi was appointed Prime Minister of Italy in 2021 help the country recover from the Covid-19 crisis. He was considered a reliable pair of hands who could responsibly use the European Union’s Covid recovery funds. Draghi previously served as President of the European Central Bank from 2011 to 2019.

Once he began work, he appointed a cabinet, which included people from a wide variety of political parties in Italy.

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