Italy President rejects PM Mario Draghi’s offer to resign

  • President Sergio Mattarella tells PM Draghi to see if he can still garner solid support in Parliament.

Sergio Mattarella Rome, July 15.– Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi offered to step down Thursday after a populist coalition ally refused to support a key government bill, but the nation’s president rejected the resignation, telling Draghi to see if he can still find a majority in Parliament willing to support him.

Draghi’s broad unity coalition government —which includes parties from the right, the left, the center and the populist 5-Star Movement— was designed to help Italy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. He took office in February 2021.

Hours earlier, Draghi and his government won a confidence vote, 172-39, in the Senate despite the refusal by the 5-Star Movement to back the bill, which earmarked 26 billion euros (dollars) to help consumers and industries struggling with soaring energy prices. But the snub, orchestrated by 5-Star leader Giuseppe Conte, Draghi’s predecessor, did its damage.

Shortly before heading to the Quirinal presidential palace to tender his resignation, Draghi declared: “The majority of national unity that has sustained this government from its creation doesn’t exist any more.”

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