Italian president rejects PM Draghi's resignation
Italian President Sergio Mattarella rejected a resignation offer of Prime Minister Mario Draghi, after meeting him late on Thursday night.
Draghi decided to formally resign after the second largest force in his coalition – the Five Star Movement (M5S) – boycotted a confidence vote on the government's relief bill to combat soaring prices in the Senate earlier in the day.
In an official statement after their meeting at the Quirinale Palace, Mattarella's office said that "the president has not accepted the resignation."
Mattarella has invited Draghi "to appear before Parliament for communications, in order to have an assessment of the situation ... in its proper forum," the statement specified.
Draghi is now expected to address the lower house and the Senate next Wednesday, according to local media.
The crisis broke out after weeks of tensions mounting within the broad coalition supporting Draghi's national unity government, which was formed in February 2021.
Draghi, former chief of the European Central Bank, has been enjoying a large political consensus up to the latest months when infighting focused on what the Cabinet's priorities in the short and mid-term should be.
After the M5S refused to take part in the confidence vote on Thursday, Draghi gathered the Cabinet and formally announced to his ministers that he would resign, saying the majority that had supported the government from its creation does not exist anymore.
"Since my inauguration address before the Parliament, I always said the Cabinet would go on only if there was a clear prospect of implementing the government's program ... Such cohesiveness has been crucial to meet the challenges of these months," Draghi said. "These conditions no longer exist."