The Italian president has asked Mario Draghi, former president of the European Central Bank, to start negotiations to form a new Italian government of national unity as the country battles the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Draghi, one of Italy’s most prominent officials and credited with his decisive action by the ECB during the eurozone debt crisis, will meet with President Sergio Mattarella on Wednesday, the chief’s office said. ‘Italian state.
Mr Mattarella’s shocking decision to ask Mr Draghi to form a unity government comes after negotiations to rebuild a coalition government that collapsed last month collapsed on Tuesday.
In a speech on Tuesday evening after news of the collapse of talks between Italy’s political parties was announced, Mr Mattarella said that if a new government could not be formed, the country would have to hold a snap election, a move which, according to him, would create uncertainty during a time of serious crisis.
“I have a duty to stress that the long campaign period and the resulting reduction in government activity will coincide with a crucial moment for the fate of Italy,” said Mr Mattarella.
Italy has suffered more than 88,000 deaths attributed to Covid-19 and is also suffering from the economic consequences of public health measures taken to combat the virus.