Mattarella concludes crisis consultations

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(ANSA) – ROME, JAN 29 – President Sergio Mattarella met the
5-Star Movement (M5S) and the parties belonging to the
centre-right opposition on the final day of formal consultations
on Italy’s government crisis on Friday.
    On Thursday the head of state met, among others, the party that
triggered the crisis in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic by
pulling its support for Giuseppe Conte’s executive, ex-premier
Matteo Renzi’s Italia Viva (IV).
    Two of the parties in what was the ruling coalition, the
centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and the left-wing LeU group,
told Mattarella on Thursday that they were in favour of him
handing a new mandate for Conte to form what would be his third
    The M5S called for this too on Friday.
    The hypothesis of a ‘Conte Ter’ administration had looked to be
the most likely conclusion to the crisis after Conte’s effort to
replace IV with ‘constructor’ lawmakers from outside the
coalition failed, prompting the PD and the M5S to stop ruling
out patching things up with Renzi.
    But the chances of a third Conte government seemed to decrease
on Thursday, with Renzi talking about the possibility of a
government of national unity, perhaps led by a figure from
outside the world of politics.
    Conte, who quit as premier on Tuesday, remains at the helm of
government during the crisis for day-to-day business.
    League leader Matteo Salvini said the parties of the
centre-right opposition called for early elections when they met Mattarella on Friday.
    “We expressed concern about this incompetent government,”
Salvini said.
    “A rapid solution is needed.
    “We again presented our request for elections, then a government
with a cohesive programme and a solid majority (in parliament).
    “(We are) totally willing to cooperate on measures that are
useful to the Italian people.
    “We won’t support this ruling majority”.
    He said the measures the centre right was willing to cooperate
on before eventual elections were the COVID-19 Recovery Plan,
the coronavirus vaccination plan and measures to support workers
and businesses affected by the pandemic and the related
The options for Mattarella, who as president is the arbiter of
Italian politics, at the end of the consultations include giving
someone a mandate to try and form a new government or calling a
new round of talks. (ANSA).


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