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Italian Prime Minister Draghi Resigns Amid Political Instability

(Photo by FABIO FRUSTACI/AFP via Getty Images)

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Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi officially resigned Thursday after key members of the coalition government refused to participate in a no-confidence vote.

Draghi, former head of the European Central Bank, forged a broad-based unity government in February 2021 when the previous one collapsed amidst economic turmoil, the BBC reported. The unelected minister was credited with righting Italy’s economy but lost the support of three key coalition partners Wednesday, leading to his demise, according to Reuters.

“For a long time, the political parties in the majority managed to put aside their divisions and come together with a sense of the State and generosity, to work towards rapid and effective measures for the good of all citizens,” Draghi said in an address to the Italian Senate on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, as the months went on, the cohesion demanded by citizens was met with a growing desire among the political parties for contrast and division.”

Draghi will stay on as caretaker until he dissolves Parliament and calls elections, likely in October, Reuters reported.

“Last February, the President of the Republic entrusted me with the task of forming a government to tackle the three emergencies facing Italy: the pandemic emergency, the economic emergency and the social emergency,” said Draghi.

Draghi brought his experience as the eurozone’s top banking chief, where he earned the moniker “Super Mario,” to his tenure as Italy’s prime minister, according to the Associated Press. His economic success and leadership through multiple crises, including COVID-19, won popularity with the Italian people. (RELATED: Europe Begs Authoritarian Countries For Gas Amid Energy Crisis)

But economic reforms could become more challenging under a new prime minister, experts told The Wall Street Journal.

Draghi submitted a resignation letter Thursday after realizing he had lost the backing of the populist Five Star Movement in a parliamentary vote on cost of living policies, but President Sergio Mattarella rejected Draghi’s attempt.

Draghi agreed to call a confidence vote Mattarella requested in a last-ditch effort to save the coalition, Reuters reported. Five Star, as well as right-leaning Forza Italia and League parties boycotted the vote.

The coalition’s conservative parties announced Tuesday they would not continue to work with Five Star in a coalition government, Reuters reported.

Five Star said the government’s decision to authorize construction of an incinerator violated Five Star’s environmental precepts and triggered its abandonment of the coalition, according to a Reuters analysis. However, experts told Reuters that Five Star’s leader, former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, used opposition stances as a political ploy to revive the party’s fortunes.

“After an initial period in which the government decided on new rules to confront the pandemic and activate its recovery plan, ideological differences between the parties emerged, making the majority unstable,” Marco Almagisti, a political-science professor at the University of Padua, told the WSJ.

The Office of the President of the Council of Ministers did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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