Rome (dpa) – After a crisis looming for weeks and two votes of confidence in parliament in Rome, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte wants to resign.
Today, the still in office head of government wants to inform the council of ministers tomorrow morning about his resignation. He then wants to officially present it to President Sergio Mattarella, the government announced Monday evening.
For Italy, another chapter of the latest government crisis is coming to an end, while a new chapter is opening at the same time. On January 13, ex-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s co-government party Italia Viva left the center-left alliance, plunging the remaining five-star movement, Social Democrats and the small party Liberi e Uguali (The Free and Equals) into violent unrest.
Last week, a vote of confidence in parliament finally followed. First, Conte’s team won approval in the larger chamber by an absolute majority. In the Senate, the smaller chamber, it was only enough for a simple majority. It was clear that the government must continue to rule on shaky legs. In view of further hurdles this week, where Conte faced a symbolic defeat in a parliamentary vote, he now wants to draw the line.
With Conte’s resignation, there are several options for continuing to Italy. Mattarella must first accept the request. Theoretically, he can then instruct the independent lawyer to form a new government. Conte could thus set up his third cabinet since 2018. The head of the Social Democrats motioned to stay with him. Health Minister Roberto Speranza, who sits in cabinet for Liberi e Uguali, also wants to continue with the 56-year-old, as does Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio of the five-star movement.
Another option that has been under discussion for weeks is an expert government to be the first to get Italy over the most pressing issues. The corona pandemic continues to hold a tight grip on the country of 60 million people. In addition, Italy must submit an investment plan worth billions in aid from the EU reconstruction fund in Brussels. A huge controversy about which the alliance with Renzis Italia Viva was recently broken. Former President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, is seen as the leader of this technocratic government.
Early elections are also conceivable if no new alliance can be found, which is particularly desired by the right-wing opposition parties. Lega boss Matteo Salvini, in particular, hopes to have enough votes to gain a government majority with other parties, such as ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative Forza Italia and the right-wing Fratelli d’Italia.