Draghi starts second round of govt-formation talks

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(ANSA) – ROME, FEB 8 – Premier-designate Mario Draghi on
Monday starts a new round of consultations with Italy’s
political parties on the formation of a new broadly-backed
    President Sergio Mattarella gave the former head of the European
Central Bank a mandate to try and form a new government last
week after outgoing Premier Giuseppe Conte’s executive
    With Italy battling the COVID-19 pandemic, holding the
presidency of the G20 this year and co-chairing the COP-26 UN
Climate Summit with the UK, Mattarella called on the parties in
parliament to back a government led by non-political figure
rather than holding snap elections at such a delicate time.
    The first round of talks went well last week, with the
right-wing Brothers of Italy (FdI) party the only group to give
a flat-out No to Draghi.
    Indeed, the consultations almost went too well, with League
leader Matteo Salvini dropping his calls for snap elections and
saying he was willing to work with an eventual Draghi
    The prospect of being in the same governing alliances as the
right-wing League has caused unease within the centre-left
Democratic Party and the left-wing Leu group, both of which were
part of the coalition that supported Conte’s government.
    Even the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, another part of
what was the ruling majority and the biggest group in
parliament, has overcome its aversion to a government led by a
    Conte, who last week said he will not hamper the formation of a
Draghi government, has reiterated that he does not intend to be
a member of the new cabinet.
    Conte is close to the M5S and said the movement is the force
that can tip the scales one way or another.
    Sources said Draghi is aiming to report back to Mattarella in
the next few days to tell him he no longer has any reservations
about accepting the mandate to be premier in order for the new
government to be sworn in by Friday. (ANSA).


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