Mattarella starts crisis talks with parties

(ANSA) – ROME, JAN 28 – President Sergio Mattarella’s formal consultations on Italy’s government crisis get going in earnest on Thursday when he begins talks with the political parties represented in parliament.
Giuseppe Conte quit as premier on Tuesday, marking the collapse of his second government, as the executive no longer had an absolute majority in the Senate after ex-premier Matteo Renzi’s Italia Viva (IV) party withdrew its support.
IV, the centre-left Democratic Party and the leftwing LeU are among the groups the head of State will meet on Thursday.
Mattarella will talk to the parties of the centre-right opposition and to the 5-Star Movement (M5S) on Friday.
He started the consultations with talks with Senate Speaker Elisabetta Casellati and Lower House Speaker Roberto Fico on Wednesday.
After the consultations, Mattarella will decide whether he wants to hand a mandate to someone to try and form a new government.
The remaining parties in what was the ruling coalition, the M5S, the PD and the LeU, have said they are in favour of Mattarella giving Conte a mandate to form a new executive, which would be his third.
Conte had been hoping to replace IV with so-called ‘constructor’ lawmakers and Casellati said Wednesday that a new group has been formed in the Upper House, the Pro-Europe MAIE Democratic Centre (MAIE-CD) group.
However, while this new group has around 10 Senators, this is not enough to replace IV in the Upper House.
The M5S and the PD had previously ruled out patching things up with Renzi, but this notion is no longer a taboo subject.
Before Thursday’s talks, IV said the focus should be on the programme of an eventual new government and not on who the premier will be.
One of the many possible conclusions to the crisis is that the old coalition could be reformed but under a different premier.
The centre-right opposition is calling for early elections.
(ANSA).

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