Published: Thu, May 31, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Italy's PM-designate Giuseppe Conte fails to form populist government

Italy's PM-designate Giuseppe Conte fails to form populist government

The chaos - the latest chapter in a drawn-out political saga after an inconclusive March election - sent Italian stocks tumbling by over two percent, and bond yields surging, with Italy's debt risk premium hitting its highest level since November 2013.

The country could be headed for another election in the coming months.

Shortly after speaking to the nation, Mattarella summoned former International Monetary Fund senior official Carlo Cottarelli for a Monday morning meeting - a sign he might tap him to try to form a government of unelected technocrats. Although cabinet ministers are proposed by the prime minister and his coalition, they must be appointed by the president.

But Paolo Flores D'Arcais wrote in the political magazine MicroMega that while the president can object to the appointment of a minister if "he finds in the candidate's past behavior something that conflicts with honorability", Mr. Mattarella's problem with the economy minister was his position on the euro.

Bank notes of different currencies, including Euro, U.S. Dollar, Turkish Lira or Brazilian Reais, are photographed in Frankfurt, Germany, in this illustration picture taken May 7, 2017.

After being named interim prime minister, Cottarelli said he would present a programme that would include the 2019 budget to parliament, and dissolve the assembly if it is approved with new elections held in early 2019. Mattarella is staunchly pro-Europe.

However, the gains were soon wiped out and analysts warned that any Cottarelli-led government was unlikely to win a confidence vote in parliament, meaning it would serve merely as a caretaker until new elections can be held.

"This isn't democracy, this isn't respect for the popular vote".

"Why don't we just say that in this country it's pointless that we vote, as the ratings agencies, financial lobbies decide the governments?" he asked in a video on Facebook.

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

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S. May 22, 2018.

Mr Di Maio, referring to Italy's Republic Day celebrations on Saturday, said: "I invite you all to come to Rome for a big event".

"The Italian president betrayed his people".

The most famous example of a president denying a PM's choice was in 1994 when Eugenio Scalfari refused then prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's choice of his own lawyer - Cesare Previti - as justice minister.

Di Maio also said that an impeachment trial for Mattarella, a former constitutional court judge, was "almost a certainty", but has since rowed back on this suggestion. On the contrary, he said, he'd given the two party leaders great leeway in the long negotiating process.

The Article 90 said that the president of Italy was not responsible for performance of his presidential duties except in the case of "high treason or violation of the Constitution".

There were even calls for Mattarella's impeachment earlier in the week from the M5S, but the party's leader has now said that option is off the table.

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