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Italy PM-designate Conte gives up bid for government

May 27, 2018 4:24 pm

Italian PM-designate Giuseppe Conte has given up his bid to form a government after the country’s president vetoed his choice of economy minister.

President Sergio Matarella said he had agreed to all proposals but could not back Paolo Savona, a eurosceptic.

Mr Matarella’s move angered populist parties trying to form a coalition. Luigi Di Maio, the leader of 5-Star, called for the president’s impeachment.

Italy has been without a government since elections on 4 March.

Two populist parties, 5-Star, which won 32% of the vote, and the far-right League party, which won 18%, had agreed earlier this month after days of talks to form a coalition.

There is now a real argument in Italy between the president and the populists about this country’s position in the EU, the BBC’s James Reynolds reports from Rome.

As a stopgap move, the head of state has summoned former International Monetary Fund (IMF) economist Carlo Cotarelli potentially to take over as a non-populist prime minister.

But this appointment may not last and the only immediate solution may be an early election in which, all of a sudden, Italy’s membership of the euro and its relationship with the EU itself really are up for discussion, our correspondent adds.

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