February 2nd, local time, Italian President Sergio Mattarella said that he wanted Mario Draghi, former president of the European Central Bank, to form a new Italian government to solve the domestic epidemic and economic crisis. The two will hold talks on this at noon on the 3rd.
Previously, the Vitality Party led by former Italian Prime Minister Renzi withdrew from the government because it did not agree with the ruling policy of then Prime Minister Conte.
Subsequently, Conte’s government won a vote of confidence in both the Senate and the House of Representatives on January 19. However, Conte still lacked an absolute majority in the Senate.
On the 26th, Conte officially submitted his resignation to Matarella. According to media reports, Conte hopes to get an opportunity to reorganize the government in order to seek to unite more partisan support and reach an absolute majority in Parliament.
This is not the first time that Conte resigned. He first became Prime Minister in June 2018. In August 2019, Conte announced his resignation after Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Alliance Party, Salvini tried to launch a vote of no confidence against Conte.
However, he was soon authorized to form a cabinet again and served as Prime Minister again. However, Conte failed to form a cabinet again in 2021.
Draghi’s come forward to help save the economy
The Financial Times reported that earlier on the 2nd, Conte’s negotiations to form a new government broke down, so Matarera must choose another candidate capable of forming a viable coalition, because if it is not possible to form a cabinet again within the specified time, Italy will have to hold general elections two years ahead of schedule.
“It is my responsibility to call on all political forces to support a high-profile government.” Matarella told reporters on the 2nd that in view of a series of challenges facing Italy, it is unwise to hold an early election.
Therefore, the heavy responsibility of reorganizing the government fell on Draghi’s shoulders. Draji was widely praised for helping the eurozone get away from the brink of collapse in 2012, and he promised to do everything he could to save the euro, thus easing the European sovereign debt crisis.
The Wall Street Journal wrote on February 2, 2021 that Draghi is one of Europe’s most respected public figures, at least in Europe’s broad centrists, pro-EU multi-national politics and financial markets.
Now, affected by the epidemic, Italy is facing the worst economic crisis since World War II. According to a data released on February 2, Italy’s economy contracted by nearly 9% in 2020, the worst decline in Italy.
In response, Matarella has said that one of the most important tasks the next government must do is to quickly draw up a plan to study how to use more than 200 billion euros of EU rescue funds.
Italy’s crumbling national debt, as well as the recent complex sentiments of its voters against the EU and the euro, have made the whole of Europe closely related to Italy’s economic fate.
Bloomberg thus pointed out that Draghi is expected to receive support from the European Union.
Forming a cabinet may be difficult.
However, for Draghi, if he wants to form a new government, he needs to consider far more than the economic areas he is good at.
Andrea Orlando, vice chairman of the Democratic Party (one of the main parties in Conte’s ruling coalition), warned that it was not easy to reach a cross-party agreement to form a cabinet.
Italy’s anti-establishment parties, the Five Star Movement and the Anti-Immigration Alliance, have long been skeptical of Draghi, who regard Draghi as a typical representative of the country’s technocracy.
A senior figure of the Five Star Movement said that the party would never support Draji’s government. The Five Star Movement is the largest party in the Italian Parliament and a key component of the previous two coalition governments.
Without the support of either of the two parties, Draghi would have difficulty in forming a broad coalition of governance.
In addition, Georgia Meloni, the leader of the right-wing Italian Brotherhood of Italy, and Salvini, the former deputy prime minister of Italy and the leader of the right-wing populist party, the Northern Alliance, called for an early general election.” In an advanced democracy, citizens take charge of their own destiny by voting.” Meloni said.