Italy’s President Solves the Government Crisis
Saturday, Italian President Sergio Mattarella says he would make a decision “in the coming hours” to solve ongoing government crisis, and give the country a new full-functioning cabinet.
FLASH UpDate: Italy’s latest government was formed and rapidly sworn in Monday, a center-left coalition headed by new Premier Paolo Gentiloni and strikingly similar in makeup to the just-ended one that Matteo Renzi quit after a humiliating loss. Economist Pier Carlo Padoan remains as finance minister of the new government, which inherits the same deteriorating banking crisis, stubbornly flat economy and other urgent problems that marked Mr. Renzi’s tenure.
President Mattarella released a short statement at the end of the 3rd day of talks with political party leaders. Italy needs a new prime minister to form a transition government, after outgoing Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned.
Mr. Renzi’s resignation was linked to the sounding defeat of a cabinet-backed constitutional reform in a referendum held on 4 December.
“The country needs a full-functioning government in a short space of time: there are deadlines and commitments at domestic, European, and international level ahead of us, which have to be dealt with and respected,” Mattarella said.
His decision would be expected as early as on Monday, local media reported.
Outgoing Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni was believed to emerge as the likeliest candidate to take the prime minister post, according to Ansa news agency.
Other plausible names included Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, a respected economist whose figure might be reassuring for the market, and President of the Senate and former anti-mafia prosecutor Pietro Grasso.
President Mattarella started consultations Thursday, involving all the political forces in the parliament.
Mr. Renzi’s outgoing cabinet has remained in charge as caretaker until a new cabinet is formed.
Italy needs a swift way out of the political crisis to address pressing issues, financially troubled Monte dei Paschi di Siena Bank (Italy’s 3rd largest), the electoral system, the reconstruction in earthquake-hit central regions, and some relevant international commitments in 2017.
Mr. Renzi’s center-left Democratic Party and some minor allies said they were ready for snap elections, but also for taking part in a “national unity government” involving all major parties.
Yet, the option was rejected by the oppositions, which were all calling for an early election.
Saturday, President Mattarella restated that a change in the current electoral system was a necessary precondition to early elections.
“From these meetings has emerged, as a priority, a general need to harmonize the two laws ruling over the election of the lower house and of the senate, an indispensable condition to proceed with elections,” he said.
Any decision concerning the electoral law will have to take into consideration an upcoming ruling by Italy’s Constitutional Court on its legitimacy, which is set to take place on 24 January
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