Draghi’s measures – a package designed to tackle Italy’s cost of living crisis – crossed 172 to 39. However, the five-star boycott leaves the government in real danger of collapsing and could trigger early elections.
“I want to announce that I will submit my resignation this evening to the President of the Republic,” Draghi, after winning the vote and losing his five-star support, said in a statement.
He added, “Today’s votes in Parliament are very important from a political point of view. The majority of the national unity that supported this government since its formation no longer exists.”
He had said earlier that he would not lead a non-5 star government.
However, the Italian president, Sergio Mattarella, rejected Draghi’s resignation and instead asked Draghi to address parliament in order to assess the political situation, the Italian presidency said in a statement.
“The President of the Republic did not accept the resignation and called on the Prime Minister to appear before Parliament for contacts, so that the situation that arose as a result of today’s session in the Senate could be assessed. The Republic can be implemented in its appropriate forum,” the statement said.
Several Italian political parties supported Mattarella’s decision.
“Italy, at this difficult moment, cannot do without Draghi,” Renato Brunetta, Minister of Public Administration from the Go Italy party, said in a Facebook post.
Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio called the decision of his former party, the Five Star Movement, “a clear act of irresponsibility, thus condemning the country to the abyss”. Di Maio left the party in June to create a new party called Together for the Future.
In a statement, Di Maio’s party backed the president’s decision and called Draghi a “precious and essential” figure.
“We are working to ensure that a strong majority in support of this government appears in Parliament on Wednesday,” she said.
But Giorgia Meloni, the leader of the far-right Muslim Brotherhood, the only opposition party, called for “immediate elections”.
“This nation is in a storm,” Meloni said, noting all the difficulties at the international and national levels, from the war in Ukraine to rising energy prices.
The populist 5-Star Movement had objected to Draghi’s cost-of-living package on the grounds that it did not go far enough, having long threatened to withdraw its support.
The main point of contention was also the financing of the garbage incinerator in Rome, which angered the Five Star Movement.
“We oppose this decree in terms of style and substance, particularly in relation to the Holocaust. It is insanity,” Maria Domenica Castellon, leader of the Senate Five Star Movement, said during Thursday’s debate.
Upon taking office, he appointed a Cabinet composed of people from a wide range of Italian political parties.
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