Giuseppe Conte fails to form populist government in Italy
Italy's efforts to form a government have broken down after the president rejected a Eurosceptic pick for the key economy ministry, triggering a potential constitutional crisis and opening the prospect of fresh elections.
The leaders of the two anti-establishment parties trying to field a government, the far-right League and the 5-Star Movement, accused President Sergio Mattarella of betraying the constitution and demanded a new vote as soon as possible.
Prime Minister-designate Giuseppe Conte gave up on efforts to form a government after the head of state refused to endorse 81-year-old economist Paolo Savona, a vocal critic of the euro and the European Union, to the pivotal economy post.
“I have agreed and accepted all the nominations, except that of the minister of economy,” Mr Mattarella said in a sombre, televised speech on Sunday. “I asked for that ministry an authoritative political figure from the coalition parties who was not seen as the supporter of a line that could provoke Italy’s exit from the euro,” he added.