Italian economist tapped as premier-designate

28 May, 2018, 14:51 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • New premier-designate Carlo Cottarelli

The populists said Mattarella gave in to pressures from investors and countries such as Germany when he chose to veto their decision to appoint the euroskeptic economist Paolo Savona as finance minister.

Two populist parties, the Five Star Movement (M5S) and League, agreed on a coalition deal and prime ministerial nominee, lawyer Giuseppe Conte.

He has been given a mandate to form a government.

"We were a few steps away from forming a government, and we were stopped because in our cabinet there was a minister who criticised the EU", Di Maio said in an interview on RAI state television.

Luigi Di Maio of the 5-Star Movement attends a news conference in Rome.

For anyone wondering how the Italian president, usually seen as acting as a figurehead, was able to veto a minister backed by most parliamentarians, here's an explainer of how much power the president has in these situations.

A former judge at Italy's constitutional court, Mattarella has refused to bow to what he saw as "diktats" from the two parties that he considered contrary to the country's interests. The new government would aim to reduce public debt and the budget deficit not with taxes and austerity, but through economic growth by boosting domestic and foreign demand.

More likely than an actual impeachment, however, the new populist platform will nearly certainly be modified to include a reworking of presidential powers to impede the holder of the office-who is not directly elected by citizens-from contravening the democratically expressed will of the people.

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North Carolina state representative Mark Brody (R) posted on Facebook that teachers "choose to inconvenience" parents by rallying. Adjusted for inflation, state funding for North Carolina schools has fallen almost 8 percent since the recession hit.

"In the absence of [parliament's] confidence, the government would resign immediately and its main function would be the management of ordinary affairs until elections are held after the month of August".

The parliamentary election, held on March 4, failed to produce a clear victor but saw support for traditional parties collapse.

Last week, it looked as if Italy was finally about to get a new government after nearly three months of political deadlock following inconclusive elections back in March.

News reports said Sergio Mattarella would convene the former International Monetary Fund official Carlo Cottarelli to the presidential palace later on Monday and ask him to form a technical government that can lead Italy until a new election.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen joined in their outrage on Monday, accusing the president of a "coup d'etat" and saying the "European Union and financial markets are again confiscating democracy".

Cottarelli would be a calming choice for the financial markets, but any technocrat administration would likely only be a short-term solution because the majority of parliamentarians have said they would not support such a government.

Outgoing Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Sunday that the problem was not Savona, but the coalition's economic plan, which is "clearly unsustainable". "It seems a stretch", Mr Salvini said.

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