ROME — Italy’s president on Friday tasked a parliamentary leader with determining whether the squabbling parties in caretaker Premier Giuseppe Conte’s collapsed government can reunite in a viable coalition to urgently help the country during the pandemic.
President Sergio Mattarella’s office announced that Chamber of Deputies President Roberto Fico was asked to report back to him by Tuesday on his progress.
Fico is a prominent figure in the populist 5-Star Movement, which has ruled in back-to-back coalitions under Conte since 2018.
Conte quit on Monday after failing to assemble a new, dependable majority in the Senate after a small coalition partner led by former Premier Matteo Renzi yanked its ministers in a dispute over how more than 200 billion euros ($242 billion) in European Union pandemic recovery funds will be spent.
Mattarella, who is Italy’s head of state, stopped short of saying whom he would tap to form the next government. Instead he stressed the urgency for Italy to have an effective government during the COVID-19 pandemic which has devastated Italy’s economy.
“The three emergencies on the health, social and economic fronts require immediate measures by the government,” Mattarella said. “It is a matter of duty to give life quickly to a government with adequate backing in Parliament” so Italy won’t be left to its fate.
Fico accepted what is known as an ‘’exploratory” mandate, saying “it’s a very delicate moment for the country. We’re called to face it with utmost responsibility in order to give citizens the answers they want.”
Hours earlier, the Five-Stars political leaders, after meeting with Mattarella indicated they would consider working with Renzi’s small Italy Alive party if the two sides can agree on substance.
The Associated Press