Italy's efforts to form government break down as eurosceptic Savona rejected

European Union - Italy's Conte fights to form team as ally threatens new vote

Italy's efforts to form government break down as eurosceptic Savona rejected

In recent days, the populist coalition had acceded to all of President Mattarella's requests to be able to launch the new government and the president had accepted the nomination of Giuseppe Conte, a relatively unknown university professor, as prime minister.

Italian bonds, stocks and the euro rallied on Monday after President Sergio Mattarella rejected a eurosceptic candidate for economy minister, prompting the anti-establishment 5-Star and League parties to abandon plans to form a government.

Italy's efforts to form a government broke down on Sunday after the president rejected a eurosceptic pick for the key economy ministry, triggering a potential constitutional crisis and opening the prospect of fresh elections.

Italian media speculated that, in the meantime, Mattarella could try to appoint a technocratic government. Savona, a former industry minister, has questioned whether Italy should ditch the euro as its currency.

Five Star had been trying to form a government with the right-wing League after Italy remained without a government since March elections.

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European equities markets rose on Monday, led by the Milan FTSE MIB stock exchange, which jumped almost 2 per cent as investors backed Carlo Cottarelli, an economist formerly with the International Monetary Fund, to form a technocrat government.

5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio called on parliament to impeach the mild-mannered Mattarella, while League chief Matteo Salvini threatened mass protests unless snap elections were called.

"Membership of the euro is a fundamental choice for the future of our country and our young people", he said.

However, any new government has to receive the approval of the Italian parliament.

"If there's not the OK of Berlin, Paris or Brussels, in Italy a government can not be formed".

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"We hope that Italy will have a stable, pro-European government soon", Roth said on arrival to a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels. Under that clause, parliament can seek to remove a president if a simple majority of lawmakers votes in favour.

Uncertainty over Italy's political situation has rattled financial markets, driving up the country's borrowing costs and this "increases our public debt and reduces the funds available for public spending", Mattarella said.

The 5-Star's Di Maio also demanded impeachment under article 90 of the constitution.

Last week, the spread of points between Italy's bonds and benchmark German bonds grew alarmingly, and Milan's stock market suffered losses as investors were spooked about the intentions of the populists.

"I asked for.an authoritative person from the parliamentary majority who is consistent with the government programme. who isn't seen as a supporter of a line that could probably, or even inevitably, provoke Italy's exit from the euro", Mr Mattarella said.

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