Italy’s Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, Resigns

The Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi,  resigned on Thursday after efforts to bring the country’s fractious parties to heel failed, kicking off a snap election campaign that could bring the hard right to power.

Italy's Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, Resigns
Italy’s Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, Resigns

The internationally respected 74-year-old formally handed his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella, whose role it is to now guide the country out of the crisis.

Mattarella is likely to dissolve parliament and call early elections for September or October, according to political analysts. Draghi may stay on as head of the government until then.

“Italy betrayed”, the Repubblica daily frontpage cried, while the Stampa ran with “For Shame”.

Based on current polls, a rightist alliance led by Giorgia Meloni’s post-fascist Brothers of Italy party would comfortably win a snap election.

Draghi, a former head of the European Central Bank, was parachuted into the premiership in 2021 as Italy wrestled with a pandemic and ailing economy.

On Wednesday, he had attempted to save the government, urging his squabbling coalition to put aside their grievances for the sake of the country.
A bloc of conservative parties, led by the far-right Brothers of Italy, looks likely to win a clear majority at the next election, a study of opinion polls showed this week.
Draghi’s coalition crumbled on Wednesday when three of his main partners snubbed a confidence vote he had called to try to end divisions and renew their fractious alliance.
His downfall comes in spite of recent polls suggesting most Italians wanted Draghi to stay at the helm until the scheduled general election next May. Anxious investors were watching closely as the coalition imploded.
The European Central Bank was due Thursday to unveil a tool to correct stress in bond markets for indebted eurozone members, such as Italy.
The spread — the difference between 10-year Italian and German treasury bonds — widened to 215 points by market close on Wednesday. Milan’s stock market dropped 2.0 percent on the opening Thursday.

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