Italian Premier Mario Draghi resigned on Thursday after key coalition allies boycotted a confidence vote, signaling the likelihood of an early election and a renewed period of uncertainty for Italy and Europe at a critical time.
Draghi tendered his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella during a morning meeting at the Quirinale Palace. Mattarella, who had rejected a similar resignation offer last week, “took note” this time around and asked Draghi’s government to remain on in a caretaker fashion, the president's office said.
Draghi's government of national unity imploded Wednesday after members of his uneasy coalition of right, left and populists rebuffed his appeal to band back together to finish the legislature’s natural term and ensure implementation of the European Union-funded pandemic recovery program.
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Instead, the center-right parties of Forza Italia and the League and the populist 5-Star Movement boycotted a confidence vote in the Senate, in a clear sign they were done with Draghi’s 17-month government.
“Thank you for all the work done together in this period,” Draghi told the lower Chamber of Deputies before he went to see Mattarella. Clearly moved by the applause, he repeated a quip that even central bank chiefs have hearts.