Carlo Cottarelli, the 'Mr Scissors' technocrat who could become Italy's PM

28 May, 2018, 16:31 | Author: Sally Reid
  • European Union - Italy's Conte fights to form team as ally threatens new vote

Italy's President Sergio Mattarella on Monday asked Carlo Cottarelli to try and form a government after an attempt to form a populist coalition failed.

Mattarella rejected Conte's list of potential ministers due to the candidacy of Paolo Savona, who was proposed as a candidate for minister of economy.

No major political group has been able to form a majority in Italy since elections in March, leaving the euro zone's third-largest economy without a government.

Roth said he doesn't want to discuss the constitutional situation, but "we hope that there will be a stable, pro-European government in Italy without delay".

"Mr Mattarella's refusal on Sunday to approve a proposed eurosceptic economic minister gave the euro a much-needed push", said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.

Early in the European session, the euro, Italy's government debt and its FTSE MIB stock index all rose in opening trades.

The announcement came following a meeting between Conte and the President, Sergio Mattarella, yesterday (Sunday) evening with reports suggesting another election is the only option left. The 5Star and League leaders, Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini, demanded that Mattarella call fresh elections, and Di Maio has called for the president's impeachment.

Italy, the EU's fourth-biggest economy, has been without a government since elections in March because no political group can form a majority.

The chance that the new government will weaken public finances and roll back a 2011 pension reform prompted Moody's to say - after markets had closed on Friday - that it may downgrade the country's sovereign debt rating.

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"I asked for that ministry an authoritative political figure from the coalition parties who was not seen as the supporter of a line that could provoke Italy's exit from the euro", he added.

Italy's premier-designate has told the president he has been unable to form what would have been western Europe's first populist government.

A technical government will still be subject to votes of confidence in both houses of parliament, and the 5-Stars and League made clear Cottarelli wouldn't have their support.

"If there are new elections in autumn, then the populists are likely to get a stronger share and a more extreme mandate", said Peter Chatwell, head of European rates strategy at Mizuho International.

The choice of Cottarelli, right, who met with Mattarella in Rome, could calm the markets, which had been spooked by the prospect of a Five Star-League coalition.

After the president blocked Mr Savona's appointment, Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio called on parliament to impeach the president.

The national news service ANSA released an article announcing that "impeachment" had found its way back into the Italian vocabulary as a result of Mattarella's unprecedented move.

"We need to keep cool".

It is not the first time that an Italian president has refused to appoint a minister supported by the majority of lawmakers - it has happened at least three times before, most notoriously with Silvio Berlusconi.

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