© Reuters. General view of the senate before a vote of confidence in the government, in Rome, Italy, July 14, 2022. REUTERS / Guglielmo Mangiapane
By Giuseppe Fonte and Angelo Amante
ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s coalition government risks collapse on Thursday after the 5-Star Movement, one of its members, failed to support a parliamentary confidence vote including crisis cost-of-living measures.
The confidence vote has become the focal point of tensions in Draghi’s broad coalition as its parties prepare to battle each other in a national election due in early 2023.
Draghi, the former head of the European Central Bank, raised the stakes by saying he would not want to lead a government without five stars, who emerged as the biggest party in the last election. there in 2018 but has since defected and lost. public support.
After the vote, a government source said Draghi went directly to President Sergio Mattarella, the supreme arbiter in Italian politics, who will have to decide how to resolve the crisis.
The vote of confidence, 172 to 39, was used to expedite parliament’s passage of a multi-billion-euro aid package, which included a provision that would allow the city of Rome to build a giant incinerator.
5-Star has urged Draghi to do more to help reduce the rising cost of living by increasing government borrowing and has also long opposed the incinerator project.
The 5-Star decision plunges Italy into political turmoil and risks undermining efforts to secure billions of euros in European Union funds, tackle a damaging drought and reduce dependence on European Union funds. Russian gas.
It could also lead to national elections as early as September or October.
Italy is due to vote in the first half of next year and rising tensions between members of the coalition have been around since early 2021 and caused political divisions on both sides.
Risks of a Draghi government collapse pervaded financial markets where yields on Italian bonds have surged, suggesting investors demand higher premiums to keep debt and equities down.
Italy’s soaring borrowing costs have further complicated the European Central Bank’s efforts to keep inflation-driven energy prices under control.