The mayors of Italy and business leaders called on Prime Minister Mario Draghi not to resign over his decision to quit at the weekend. They warned that stability in the debt-laden country was at risk.
Draghi quit last week after the 5-Star Movement (one of his broad coalition parties) refused to support Draghi’s government in a confidence election.
President Sergio Mattarella refused resignation and requested that he address parliament next week to try to reach a consensus to prevent early elections at a time of international turmoil and economic tension.
Draghi easily won the confidence vote on a package which aims to lower both the cost of living and the cost of doing business. He stated that he couldn’t continue his national unity government with out the support of his partner.
Populist 5-Star is divided internally and claims that it has not withdrawn from the coalition. However, Draghi has requested guarantees that Draghi will implement its policy priorities, such as a minimum wage.
Giuseppe Conte (leader of 5-Stars) said late Saturday, “we cannot share responsibility for government, if it’s not certain over the problems we have underlined.”
A source in the office of the prime Minister said that Draghi refused any “ultimatums from anyone” and was determined to resign.
Following warnings that Italy might lose billions in European Union post-pandemic Recovery Funds, he was forced to reconsider his decision. He also had to consider how Italy would manage rising energy costs without a functioning government.
Open letter from 110 Italian mayors, including 10 of the most populous metro areas, requesting responsibility from all parties.
They wrote, “We mayors are called on daily to manage the problems that affect citizens.”
A number of trade, agricultural, and industry associations issued statements asking for the government to continue. However, the head of the largest union in Italy stressed the importance stability.
“I’m not taking sides but I will tell ya that we have a government that has not lost any confidence votes,” Maurizio Landini, leader of the CGIL group said to La Repubblica daily.
It was becoming more difficult to overcome the growing rancour in government ranks and keep ploughing regardless. National elections were possible in September/October.
Draghi was elected in 2021 to the office and was charged with leading Italy out of the COVID crisis. According to opinion polls, a bloc of conservative parties is likely to win the majority. The legislature will expire in 2023.
Forza Italia and the League are two such parties. They welcome the collapse of the coalition as they have the chance to win an autumn ballot.
Both parties claim they would like to be in Draghi’s cabinet but only if the 5-Star was not in the government, something Draghi rejected.