Mattarella holds third day of crisis consultations

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(ANSA) – ROME, JAN 29 – President Sergio Mattarella is set to
meet the 5-Star Movement (M5S) and the parties belonging to the
centre-right opposition on the third 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).
    Renzi’s comments after the Thursday’s meeting were interpreted
by many political pundits as suggesting it will be difficult for
Conte to form a new government, which would be his third, with
IV’s support.
    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 to Conte.
    This is set to be what the M5S calls for too.
    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 odds against a third Conte government have increased
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.
    Giorgia Meloni, the leader of the right-wing Brothers of Italy
(FdI) party, said Friday that the centre right is united in
calling for snap elections.
    “I read reports that the centre right is divided and it has been
devastated by lawmakers changing side,” Meloni told Radio
    “That is not how it is.
    “It seems to me that the centre right is united when it comes to
taking action and we all agree on the need to have new
    “I don’t think that will change”.
    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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