Giuseppe Conte did not say why he couldn’t form what would have been...
FRANCES D’ EMILIO
INTERNATIONAL.- Italy’s political landscape grew even shakier Sunday after the president refused to approve a proposed Cabinet minister with views critical of the euro currency and the premier-designate quit his bid to form a populist coalition government.
After being summoned to and emerging from the Quirinal presidential palace, Premiere-Designate Giuseppe Conte did not say why he couldn’t form what would have been Western Europe’s first populist government. But Italian President Sergio Mattarella told the nation minutes later he had refused to accept the nominee the euroskeptic League and 5-Star Movement parties had put forward as economy minister.
League leader Matteo Salvini in recent days had virtually given an ultimatum over the economy minister pick to Mattarella, whose duties as head of state include sanctioning a new Cabinet.
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The president said he approved all of the other Cabinet picks, but rejected the coalition partners’ choice for the economy portfolio out of concern it would have a negative effect on financial markets and the Italian economy.
The economy ministry “always constitutes an immediate message of trust or alarm” for financial markets, Mattarella said, adding that he had asked for someone who was not “supporting a position expressed more than once that could probably, or in fact inevitably, provoke Italy’s exit from the euro".
Mattarella said he was considering political party leaders’ request for another election and would announce his next move “in the next hours”.
The previous parliamentary election, held March 4, failed to produce a party with enough support to govern singlehandedly. League leader Salvini and fellow euroskeptic Luigi Di Maio of the 5-Star Movement agreed this month to join their rival forces in a coalition to break the political impasse.