Italy’s Draghi starts talks with parties over govt, 5-Star softens stance

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Former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi started consultations on Thursday on forming a new Italian government as the largest party in parliament, the 5-Star Movement, softened its initial hostility to his appointment.

However, it was still unclear whether Draghi would secure sufficient parliamentary support after Matteo Salvini’s right-wing League said it would not support a government backed by 5-Star.

Italy’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD) will support a government led by Prime Minister designate Mario Draghi, PD leader Nicola Zingaretti said on Thursday.

Centre-left Partito Democratico appeared to express its support for a Draghi government, “We will say yes to this challenge set out by (head of state Sergio) Mattarella. We will present objectives rather than conditions,” Zingaretti said.

With Italy mired in a health and economic crisis, the head of state gave Draghi a mandate on Wednesday to form an administration after the previous coalition government, which included the anti-establishment 5-Star, collapsed in acrimony.

Outgoing Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, in his first public comments on the political tumult, wished Draghi well and said he hoped the next government would have a political nature and not comprise only unaffiliated technocrats.

The words of Conte – himself not a member of any party but close to 5-Star – were seen as a signal that his cabinet allies should consider working with Draghi, one of the most respected institutional figures in both Italy and Europe.

via Reuters

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