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Mario Draghi to resign as Italian PM as coalition partner ends support

Mario Draghi to resign as Italian PM as coalition partner ends support

I

talian Prime Minister Mario Draghi is to resign hours after populist coalition partner Five Star pulled its support for his administration.

The former head of the European Central Bank has led a unity government since February 2021.

But Five Star leader Giuseppe Conte accused him of not doing enough to tackle the cost of living crisis.

His party refused to side with the Prime Minister in a major confidence vote.

In a statement, Draghi said the pact of trust that had sustained the unity government had gone.

Draghi added that he had made the “utmost commitment to continue on the common path,” while trying to meet the demands of the political parties.

However, he said: “I will hand my resignation to the president of the republic this evening,”

The prime minister has insisted repeatedly that the government will not continue without Five Star.

After the vote, which he won even without the support of Five Star, he immediately set off to see President Sergio Mattarella and indicated he would quit.

The confidence vote on Thursday was associated with a multi-billion package of economic aid for families and businesses.

The €23bn (£19.5bn) package cleared the lower house last week but Mr Conte has warned that Italy is facing a serious social crisis that will erupt in September

He warned: “We have to face the uncomfortable reality of our citizens.”

The Five Star party was the largest in the last election in 2018, but its support has fallen in the last few years and there have also been a number of defections.

It could mean national elections as early as September or October after coalition parties said there should be a vote if 5-Star no longer supported the government.

The Milan stock exchange down three percentage points after Draghi’s announcement.

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