Italian President Asks Former IMF Official to Try to Form a Government

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President Mattarella said he had the right to block nominations that could harm the country.

President Sergio Mattarella scuttled the 5-Star Movement and League's bid to form a euroskeptic coalition government by vetoing their choice for economy minister on Sunday night. A new vote could be held on September 9, newspaper Corriere della Sera reported on Monday.

Italians had entered the weekend thinking such a government might be just days away from taking power.

"The designation of the economy minister always constitutes an immediate message of trust or alarm" for financial markets, Mattarella said, adding that he insisted on some someone who was not "supporting a position expressed a couple of times that could probably, or in fact inevitably, provoke Italy's exit from the euro".

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Di Maio and Matteo Salvini finally chose to join forces but each vetoed the other for the prime minister post. Conte gave up his mandate, and the possibility of a technocratic government is now on the table, with elections later this year looking likely.

The president may put together a caretaker government to steer the country to fresh elections in the fall, according to media political observers.

Cottarelli, 64, was director of the IMF's fiscal affairs department from 2008 to 2013 and became known as "Mr. Scissors" for making cuts to public spending in Italy. "There is a constitution defending political ideas and opinions", Stefano said.

The leaders of the two populist parties were furious over the Mattarella veto. "People voted for these parties and it may be hard to explain to them why they can't have their government".

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The euro also rebounded after hitting a six-month low at the end of last week, although it gave up some of the early gains as trading continued to trade at $1.166 against the USA dollar, having earlier in the day reached $1.1728. The common currency had dropped for six straight weeks amid the political uncertainty. "For now it's more relief that Italy will not-for now at least-have an avowed eurosceptic finance minister".

Manlio Di Stefano, an MP from the anti-establishment Five-Star Movement (M5S), which has teamed up with Lega Nord in a parliament, argued that it was Mattarella's fault that Sunday did not bring a much-desired end to the two-month long post-election stalemate. Mattarella told reporters he had approved all of the coalition's Cabinet candidates except that of Savona.

But he will struggle to gain the approval of parliament with Five Star and the League commanding a majority in both houses. The spread between Italian and German 10-year bonds reached the widest in over four years as polls suggest the populists can only benefit from the chaos.

"Either the government gets off the ground and starts working in the coming hours, or we might as well go back to elections", Salvini said.

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