Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

New Italy Government Locks in a Collision Course with the EU

New Italy Government Locks in a Collision Course with the EU

President Sergio Mattarella authorized Zampetti to form the government on Wednesday.

President Sergio Mattarella - given referee-like powers to oversee the formation of governments - refused to approve as finance minister 81-year-old Paolo Savona.

Since neither party had the necessary parliamentary seats to form a government, the leaders of the two groups - Five-Star's Luigi Di Maio and League's Matteo Salvini - worked together to form a coalition government, working through their differences and hammering out a 58-page unified political program last week.

On Monday, Mr. Mattarella is expected to meet at the Quirinal Palace with Carlo Cottarelli, a former director of the fiscal affairs department of the International Monetary Fund, to ask him to form a technical government.

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Italy is used to having new prime ministers; the country has had no fewer than 66 different governments in nearly as many years since World War II.

"The uncertainty over our position has alarmed investors and savers both in Italy and overseas", he said, adding: "Membership of the euro is a fundamental choice".

Mr Conte took his list of cabinet choices to the President, Sergio Mattarella on Sunday evening in the hope of finally being able to form a coalition government. "In Italy, Italians decide", Mr. Salvini told supporters Sunday.

"The adhesion to the euro is a choice of fundamental importance for the perspectives of our country and our youth", Mattarella said. Mainstream center-left and center-right parties were seen losing further ground in the face of voter anger over the sluggish economy. After an emergency meeting with his party leaders, he called on Italian television for Mr. Mattarella's impeachment for blocking the will of the people. Under that article, the president would be voted on "for high treason or attacking the constitution" by all members of parliament.

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Di Maio also scathingly criticized Mattarella's veto of Savona as "incomprehensible". Under that clause, parliament can seek to remove a president if a simple majority of lawmakers votes in favour. He said he did best to try to give the country "a government of change".

On Sunday, Mr Savona had tried to allay concerns about his views in his first public statement on the matter.

"The problem is Savona", the coalition source said, explaining that the economist had not sufficiently softened some of his more eurosceptic positions.

"I want a different Europe, stronger, but more equal", Savona said in a statement.

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From a policy perspective, Savona has an anti-Europe stance and is opposed to the euro currency.

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