As feared by observers, in an unprecedented move, pro-EU President Sergio Mattarella rejected the nomination of the proposed new Euroskeptical Finance Minister, Paolo Savona, by incoming Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte over concerns that his appointment would lead to Italy’s exit from the Eurozone.
Conte, who was chosen by the coalition consisting of the Left-wing 5-Star Movement and the Rightist League to be Prime Minister, resigned on Sunday following a meeting with Mattarella and learning of his refusal of Savona. His decision makes it almost certain that new parliamentary elections will be called, given that no party succeeded in winning a majority in Parliament, plunging Italy into a political stalemate.
“This is an unprecedented institutional conflict,” Matteo Salvini, leader of the League, said in a video which was broadcast live over Facebook.
Even before the end of the meeting between Mattarella and Conte on Sunday, Salvini had announced that the only solution to the deadlock now was to hold new parliamentary elections. “In a democracy, if indeed we are still in a democracy, there is only one thing to do: let the Italians have their say,” he told his supporters on Sunday.
Today, Mattarella appointed Carlo Cottarelli, a former International Monetary Fund official, to be Finance Minister. Cottarelli has pledged to bring order out of chaos if he is approved by Parliament, and said that he will work to establish the national budget for 2019. New elections will most likely be held late this year or in early 2019.