Reuters – Italy’s president is expected to ask a former International Monetary Fund official on Monday to head a stopgap government amidst political and constitutional turmoil, with early elections looking inevitable.
In a televised address, Mattarella said he had rejected the candidate, 81-year-old eurosceptic economist Paolo Savona, because he had threatened to pull Italy from the single currency.
“If there’s not the OK of Berlin, Paris or Brussels, a government cannot be formed in Italy. It’s madness, and I ask the Italian people to stay close to us because I want to bring democracy back to this country,” Salvini told reporters.
While he had approved all their other ministerial picks, Mattarella said he had the right to block nominations that could harm the country. He added that the League and 5-Star had refused to put forward any other name for the role.
Polls have suggested that the League, which won 17 percent of the vote in March, would surge in an early ballot, while support for 5-Star remained strong on around 35 percent.
Mainstream centre-left and centre-right parties were seen losing further ground in the face of voter anger over the sluggish economy, high unemployment and rising poverty.
The 5-Star’s Di Maio demanded the impeachment of the president under article 90 of the constitution. Under that clause, parliament can seek to remove a president if a simple majority of lawmakers votes in favour. The constitutional court would then be called to decide whether to enforce the decision.
The centre-right Forza Italia party and the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) both denounced calls for impeachment, with former PD leader Matteo Renzi saying his party would take to the streets to defend Italy’s institutions if needed.