Italian President Sergio Mattarella has accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Mario Draghi. This was announced by the Quirinal Palace in Rome on Thursday. The government will initially remain in office for ongoing business.
Draghi had offered his resignation. “Against the background of last night’s vote in the Senate, I ask that the session be suspended because I will go to the President of the Republic to inform him of my decision,” Draghi announced in the Chamber of Deputies in Rome on Thursday. Earlier, there was long applause for Draghi before the start of the session. Many MPs stood up. Draghi thanked the parliamentarians with a “Grazie”.
On Wednesday evening in the Senate, the smaller of the two chambers of parliament, the 74-year-old head of government missed his goal of gaining broad approval from his governing parties in a vote of confidence. The left-wing populist Five Star Movement, the right-wing populist Lega and the conservative Forza Italia did not vote.
The non-party economist wanted to appear in the Chamber of Deputies on Thursday. In the Senate, the other chamber of parliament, on Wednesday he called on his governing parties to continue to support him and to form a new “pact of trust” with him.
However, the centre-right bloc of his multi-party government of pundits and politicians was only willing to do so if the Five Star Movement were excluded from a new government. The star senators, on the other hand, expected Draghi to agree with them on their political proposals for a sequel, but from their point of view he did not do so.
Draghi should see no other way out than to offer his resignation again. He did just that a week ago when the Five Stars in the Senate did not vote in favor of him in a vote on an aid package. President Sergio Mattarella rejected the request at the time.
If he accepts it now, he could hire someone to form a governing majority in the existing parliament, or he could dissolve the two chambers, which would initiate a snap election. This must then be done within 70 days. Therefore, a possible election date would be between the end of September and the beginning of October.
Without Draghi, Italy lacks an important guarantor of stability in Europe. The independent economist was asked by Mattarella in mid-February 2021 to form a government majority. The second cabinet of the current head of the Five Star Movement, Giuseppe Conte, had previously fallen apart.
Draghi set his government the goal of guiding Italy safely through the corona pandemic and securing the country the important billions in aid for the EU recovery fund from Brussels.