Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Italy crisis: Call to impeach president after candidate vetoed

Italy crisis: Call to impeach president after candidate vetoed

The president said he feared a new government with Mr. Savona as economy.

The leaders of the two anti-establishment parties trying to field a government, the far-right League and the 5-Star Movement, accused President Sergio Mattarella of betraying the constitution and demanded a new vote as soon as possible.

Mr Mattarella, however, objected to the choice of Paolo Savona, 81, as economy minister, forcing the prime minister-designate to abandon his efforts to form a government, more than 80 days after the elections.

The situation is fluid with President Mattarella maintaining that he will wait before making any decision, but new elections are now a distinct possibility.

On May 23, the Italian president offered Conte to take the post of prime minister.

A former judge at Italy's constitutional court, Mattarella has refused to bow to what he saw as "diktats" from the two parties that he considered contrary to the country's interests.

"Italians decide their own government", Moscovici said.

More likely than an actual impeachment, however, the new populist platform will nearly certainly be modified to include a reworking of presidential powers to impede the holder of the office-who is not directly elected by citizens-from contravening the democratically expressed will of the people. Cottarelli may be asked to try to form an interim government before the country heads to early elections.

Both Salvini and Di Maio had staunchly backed Savona, and pressed Mattarella regarding the proposed government team in separate meetings with the head of state earlier on Sunday afternoon.

Mattarella told reporters that it's important for confidence in broader financial markets that Italy signals its intentions to remain part of the euro.

"It's an institutional clash without precedent", Di Maio said on a live-streamed Facebook video.

If, as expected, he fails to win parliamentary backing, Cottarelli would simply ferry Italy to elections that would most likely be held in September or October.

Savona, who served as industry minister in a government in the 1990s, has questioned whether Italy at some point should ditch the euro as its official currency.

The agreement to form a populist coalition came after weeks of fruitless negotiations following the results of the March 4 elections, which did not give any party an outright majority.

Italian media said the president would convene Carlo Cottarelli, an economist who assisted a former center-left government, to the palace late Monday morning. Instead, he said, the powers-that-be didn't like his choice for economics minister so they pulled the plug.

The leader of Italy's right-wing League party says he won't give ground in a standoff that is blocking the country's next government from taking office.

Mr Savona, who served as industry minister during the 1990s, has been an outspoken critic of the European Union and an opponent of austerity programmes.

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