0407 GMT April 22, 2019
President Sergio Mattarella said in a televised statement on Monday that there was no hope for a coalition deal. He urged the country’s parties to rally behind a “neutral government” that he said he would appoint this week but said the only alternative would be a swift re-vote following the inconclusive elections in March, presstv.com reported.
“Let the parties decide of their own free will if they should give full powers to a government... or else new elections [should be held] immediately in the month of July or the fall,” Mattarella said.
However, Italy’s two largest parties, the far-right League and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement — which have enough seats between them in parliament to prevent any government from winning the confidence votes needed to take office — rapidly expressed their opposition to the proposal.
“[We have] no faith in a ‘neutral government,’ which is synonymous with a government of technocrats. We are going to vote in July,” the head of 5-Star, Luigi Di Maio, tweeted.
League leader Matteo Salvini made similar remarks. “There is no time to lose; there is no space for a technocrat government,” he said.
Italy has been stuck in political limbo since the March 4 elections, in which no single party secured a majority.
The 5-Star emerged as the single largest group while an alliance of rightist parties, including the anti-immigrant League, took the most seats.