ITALY. Rome: Honourable Roberto Fico, the lower-house speaker, met with the majority parties to draft a government’s programme to end the crisis.
On Friday, the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella gave Mr Fico a mandate to investigate the feasibility of forming a new government with the same parties that were supporting the previous President Giuseppe Conte’s administration.
The roundtable started just after 9.40 a.m on 1st February with a delegation of 15 spokespeople from the majority parties: Movement Five Stars (M5S), Democratic Party (PD) and Italia Viva (IV) and the representatives of other smaller political parties that were part of the leading coalition.
The meeting aimed to define a programme that can lead to the end of the government crisis, but also consolidate the coalition on crucial issues concerning the country’s economy and response to the pandemic.
Mr Fico will report back to President Mattarela by tomorrow, Tuesday, 2nd February. The President will then decide the next steps which remain unclear at this stage.
However, President Mattarella can decide for a new round of talks if today’s roundtable is inconclusive.
How did the crisis start?
The Italian ruling coalition collapsed earlier this month after the former prime minister and IV’s leader, Matteo Renzi, withdrew his party’s support to the government over disagreements on the economic recovery plans.
The dispute focused on how the government was planning to spend the EU recovery funding of over 200 billion euros.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte won the key confidence votes both in the Chambers and in the Senate. However, he didn’t reach enough votes to claim an absolute majority in the Senate.
On 26th January, PM Conte handed his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella to start the consultation for a new government.
If an agreement is reached during this round of consultations, Giuseppe Conte might be confirmed as Prime Minister, supported by M5S, the largest party in parliament.
Conte, a former law professor, has already led two governments since the 2018 general election.