Italy to appoint Europhile PM instead of calling election

Italy’s president has asked a prominent Europhile and former president of the European Central Bank to form a government of national unity following the collapse of the Italian government last month.

President Sergio Mattarella will meet with his preferred candidate for the new Italian prime minister, Mario Draghi on Wednesday to discuss the position.

Draghi spent eight years at the helm of the European Central Bank until 2019 overseeing the Euro in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Former prime minister Giuseppe Conte had been given the opportunity to salvage his premiership and solidify a new coalition government after Matteo Renzi withdrew his party’s ministers from the government last month, sparking its collapse. However, the deadline given by the President is now due to expire

The expectation should talks fail had been for an election to be called, a move backed publicly by former interior minister and popular Lega leader Matteo Salvini.

Salvini’s Lega party leads the polls and has a clear pathway to electoral success with potential coalition partners in Brothers of Italy and Forza Italia also polling well.

Salvini’s Lega (ID) would have a pathway to electoral success with coalition partners Brothers of Italy (FdI) and Forza Italia (FI)

The possibility of a centre-right, Eurosceptic government however has clearly shaken the Italian establishment, who have opted to appoint a Brussels ally to the position without consultation of the Italian people.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday evening, Lega leader Matteo Salvini expressed his view on the political crisis:

“The shameful little theater on the skin of 60 million Italians continues. We are sure that the Head of State will not allow any further waste of time: the main road is elections.

“The center-right has clear ideas about the priorities for relaunching Italy: a serious vaccination plan,, tax cuts and 15% Flat Tax for families and businesses, immediate opening of all construction sites, plan for the effective use of European funds, profound justice reform, fiscal peace.

“Italy does not deserve to be held hostage by incapable, turncoats, serial election losers and armchair lovers. We have women, men and ideas to bring Italy back to the place it deserves.”