Italy’s president on Friday instructed a parliamentary leader to decide early next week whether the troubled parties in the caretaker Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s collapsed government could be reunited to rule the country in the midst of the pandemic.
The announcement from President Sergio Mattarella’s office ended by saying whether Conte would finally be used to try to falsify what would be his third coalition government since June 2018.
Instead, it said that Chamber of Deputies President Roberto Fico was asked to report back to Mattarella at the end of Tuesday if a reborn coalition was achievable.
Fico is a prominent figure in the populist 5-star movement, the largest party in back-to-back coalitions under Conte.
Mattarella clarified that Italy – which has suffered Europe’s second highest death toll in Covid-19 – could afford to waste time finding a new government.
“The three emergencies on health, social and economic fronts require immediate action by the government,” Mattarella said. “It is a duty then to give life to a government with adequate support in parliament.”
Conte quit on Monday after losing a reliable majority in the Senate due to a small partner led by the volatile former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi snatching his ministers in a dispute over how about 209 billion euros ($ 253 billion) in the EU pandemic recyclers will be used.
Fico accepted what is known as an “exploratory” mandate and said: “This is a very sensitive moment for the country. We are called to face it with the utmost responsibility to provide citizens with the urgent answers they expect. ”
A few hours earlier, the five-star political leaders indicated that they would consider working with Renzi’s small Italy Alive party if the two sides could agree on a policy.
Elections in the spring of 2023
Since Conte’s resignation, Mattarella, as head of state, met with leaders of Italy’s myriad of political parties to see who could form a coalition. Elections are underway in the spring of 2023 and center-right opposition parties had lobbied Mattarella to bring the date forward.
But Mattarella said it was clear in his talks that there was “the potential for a political majority consisting of the groups” that supported Conte’s just-concluded government.
However, Mattarella insisted on security in the mission of Fico.
Officially, Conte, a lawyer who specializes in mediation, does not lead a party but became a premiere thanks to strong lobbying from the 5-star movement. The 5 stars and Renzi’s party were in conflict for several weeks.
There were hints earlier on Friday of a break in the dead end when a 5-star leader, Vito Crimi, indicated that the movement was willing to re-enter into a coalition with Renzi’s forces if both sides could agree on a policy.
Given Renzi’s betrayal of Conte this month, another government with the support of Italy Alive may further melt the already fragmented 5-star movement, which has lost popularity in opinion polls.
If the movement renounces Renzi’s demands, “arrivederci and thank you”, a major 5-star leader, Alessandro Di Battista warned in a Facebook post.
A Renzi party leader in parliament, Ettore Rosato, jerked off the 5-star internal problems.
“This government fell” on subject issues, Rosato told state television. “If we solve the problems, I think we can give birth to a stronger government than before.”