Pleas multiply for Italy PM Draghi to remain in place

A day from the premier’s key speech in parliament, business, political and religious actors ask him to rethink resignation.

Pleas multiply for Italy PM Draghi to remain in place

From mayors to bishops, calls to persuade Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi to stay put despite a government crisis are multiplying.

Draghi is set to address parliament on Wednesday after President Sergio Mattarella rejected his resignation, asking him to assess the political situation in the chambers.

The crisis was sparked by the 5-Star Movement – one of the main coalition partners – which decided to walk out ahead of a crucial confidence vote last week.

Immediately afterwards, Draghi decided to offer his resignation, a move that he could confirm or rethink after his speech in parliament and the following confidence votes.

Two main scenarios remain in place ahead of Wednesday’s vote: Draghi can stay as premier or President Mattarella would be forced to call early elections for fall.

Pleas for Draghi to remain in office, at a difficult time for Italy and Europe, came from different actors, in Italy and abroad.

More than a thousand Italian mayors signed a petition citing citizens’ everyday problems and the need for Draghi to ensure solid answers amid economic uncertainty and political turmoil.

Other calls came from associations, industrialists, university professors and the Catholic Church, through the voices of the head of the Bishops Conference Matteo Maria Zuppi and the Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

Many European leaders also called Draghi to express their support, as the Italian premier is seen abroad as a guarantor of political stability and fiscal discipline.

Businessmen and entrepreneurs asked Draghi to stay and forge ahead with his program of reforms, crucial for Italy to receive €200 billion in European recovery funds.

Hüseyin Demir