Italy heads towards new elections
May 29, 2018 -- Populist parties are vowing to turn voter anger over their thwarted bid to govern for the first time into a referendum on Italy’s place in Europe, as the country faces fresh elections as soon as late summer.
Amid the political turmoil, Carlo Cottarelli, an economist with International Monetary Fund experience, was asked by the Italian president to assemble a technocrat government to take the country to elections.
Only five days ago, another premier-designate, political novice Giuseppe Conte, stood in the same spot in the Quirinal presidential palace and declared he would work to create a “government of change” in what would have been Italy’s — and western Europe’s — first populist government.
That dream deflated dramatically Sunday night when President Sergio Mattarella refused to submit to populist demands that he approve their proposed economy minister, who in the past has recommended having a “Plan B” to exit the eurozone if EU strictures become too tight for Italy.