Draghi holds second day of govt-formation talks

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(ANSA) – ROME, FEB 5 – Premier-designate Mario Draghi’s talks
with Italy’s political parties on the eventual formation of a
government led by him get into full swing on Friday with
meetings with many of the bigger groups in parliament.
    The former president of the European Central Bank was handed a
mandate by President Sergio Mattarella to try and form a
government this week after outgoing Premier Giuseppe Conte’s
executive collapsed.
    Draghi now needs to see if he would have the support of a
working majority in parliament.
    After talks with several smaller parties on Thursday, on Friday
Draghi is meeting the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), the
left-wing LeU and the centrist Italia Viva (IV) groups, all of
whom were part of the coalition that backed Conte’s executive,
and the right-wing Brothers of Italy (FdI) party and Silvio
Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI), who were part of the
centre-right opposition.
    The round of consultations will end on Saturday with meetings
with the 5-Star Movement (M5S), which was also part of the last
ruling majority, and Matteo Salvini’s right-wing League party.
    The talks appear to have gotten off to a good start with most
parties expressing willingness to cooperate with Draghi,
although many have also said support would be conditional on
various factors.
    Ex-premier Matteo Renzi’s IV, which brought down Conte’s
executive in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic by withdrawing
its support, is enthusiastically behind Draghi and the PD is
making positive noises too.
    “Professor Draghi’s job is to set the perimeters of the ruling
majority and reach an agreement,” said PD leader Nicola
    “We offer content”.
    FI also looks inclined to get behind Draghi, while FdI have
called for snap elections as soon as possible.
    One of the big questions regards whether the M5S will support a
Draghi executive.
    The anti-establishment movement is by its nature hostile to the
idea of a government led by a technocrat.
    But the alternative to a Draghi government is likely to be early
elections in the middle of the pandemic, with Italy holding the
presidency of the G20 this year and co-chairing the COP-26 UN
Climate Summit with the UK.
    On Thursday Foreign Minister and M5S bigwig Luigi Di Maio said
the movement had to listen to what Draghi says and show how “mature” it is.
    A possible way for Draghi to win over the M5S would be for him
to name a cabinet that is a mix of experts and political
figures, rather than just having technocrat ministers.
    Davide Casaleggio, the son of late M5S co-founder Gianroberto
Casaleggio and an influential figure within the group, said the
M5S would have to consult on its stance its members via a vote
on its Rousseau online platform.
    Salvini has indicated that the League might coop with Draghi for
a limited period of time, but only if the government does not
feature the M5S.
    Conte’s first government, which lasted from June 2018 until
August 2019, was backed by an alliance of the M5S and the
League. (ANSA).


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