Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said he will resign on Thursday after a crisis was unleashed in his government coalition by one of his main partners, the left-wing party Five Star Movement (M5S).
This was announced today by Draghi to the members of his administration at the Council of Ministers, according to his entourage. His resignation was presented on Thursday to Italy President Sergio Mattarella. CNN reported, however, that Draghi’s resignation was rejected by the president, who called for the tension to be addressed via “communications, so that an assessment of the situation that has arisen” could be “carried out in its proper forum.”
His decision comes after the M5S decided this morning not to vote for a confidence motion in the Senate, dissociating itself from the other partners of the national unity coalition that Draghi has presided over since February 2021.
“I want to announce that this afternoon I will submit my resignation to the President of the Republic. Today’s vote in Parliament is a very significant event from a political point of view,” Draghi told the Council of Ministers, meeting in Rome.
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And he added: “The majority of national unity that has sustained this government since its creation no longer exists and the pact of trust on which the government’s actions were based has ended.”
Draghi had already warned that he would not govern without the M5S, even though his departure from the coalition did not prevent his continuity, as he still had the support of a comfortable parliamentary majority.
The latest stumbling block between Draghi and the leader of the M5S, Giuseppe Conte, precisely his predecessor in office, has been a decree with aid against inflation that the “anti-caste” party sees as “insufficient” which criticizes for including measures such as the financing of a waste incinerator for the city of Rome.
But they had previously had notorious disagreements, given the M5S’s misgivings about continuing to arm the Ukrainian resistance.
“In these days, on my part, there has been the maximum commitment to follow a common path, even trying to understand the demands that the political forces have advanced to me. As evidenced by the debate and the vote today in Parliament, that effort has been insufficient,” the economist lamented.
Draghi was put in charge of the Executive in February 2021 to deal with the pandemic crisis, after the fall of Conte, and he did so with a coalition that included all parties except Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy.
“In my investiture speech in Parliament I have always said that this government should continue only if it had the clear prospect of being able to implement the government program that all political forces had voted for,” he explained.
“This unity has been fundamental to face the challenges of these months. These conditions no longer exist,” Draghi ended before his ministers, whom he thanked and encouraged to be “proud” of the objectives achieved at “such a difficult time.”
When Draghi resigns before Mattarella, it will be Mattarella who will decide what steps to take, which may range from entrusting someone else to govern or even calling an early election and not waiting for the end of the legislature, in March 2023, as more and more political parties are demanding.
The most interested in a general election is Meloni, who as the only opposition to Draghi is the one that is growing the most in the polls and is already placed as the first force in the country.
Draghi’s resignation follows that of Boris Johnson, who has also just announced that he will be stepping down from his position in the United Kingdom.