Lega Party Calls on Italian President to Elect New Parliament

Italian President Sergio Mattarella

The country could be headed for another election in coming months. It will not be a political election, but a referendum on preserving democracy ...

The announcement on Sunday came after a meeting between Conte and Italian President Sergio Mattarella to discuss a proposed list of cabinet members, in what would have been Italy's first populist government.

The president has very limited powers but can appoint heads of government and their chosen ministers.

The far-right League and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) have yet to set up shop in Rome since scoring the most votes in Italy's inconclusive elections almost three months ago.

Mr Di Maio called for impeachment under article 90 of the constitution, which allows parliament to demand a president step down based on a simple majority vote.

Cinque Stelle leader Luigi di Maio described the situation as "an institutional clash without precedent" and said he will seek Mattarella's impeachment.

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According to a report in Politico, it's not the first time an Italian president has used their authority to refuse an appointment - although this is the first time the euro currency has been cited as a reason. That spooked markets. Italy has one of Europe's highest debt ratios and has dealt for several years with various austerity measures.

"Membership of the euro is a fundamental choice for the future of our country and our young people", he said.

President Mattarella warned on Sunday that the prospect of a populist government had "alarmed Italian and foreign investors" and worsened the "spread" - the gap between Italian and German 10-year government bond yields.

European equities markets rose on Monday, led by the Milan FTSE MIB stock exchange, which jumped almost 2 per cent as investors backed Carlo Cottarelli, an economist formerly with the International Monetary Fund, to form a technocrat government.

"We worked for weeks, day and night, to ensure the birth of a government which defends the interests of Italian citizens".

The centre-left Democratic Party (PD) on Sunday backed President Sergio Matterella after his controversial rejection the nomination of Paolo Savona as economy minister.

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The question is whether he'll be able to get parliamentary approval, since the League and M5S between them have a majority in both Italy's houses of parliament.

5-Star had waged an independent campaign at inconclusive March 4 elections, while the League campaigned as part of a coalition of right-wing parties.

Meanwhile, utility stocks led the gains, up around 0.7 percent amid political uncertainty in Italy.

The euro gained ground on the news, adding 0.4 percent against the US dollar on Monday morning and ticking up against most other major trading partners as well.

The London FTSE stock exchange was closed for a bank holiday.

Since the formation of the populist ruling coalition, Italian stocks have lost nearly 9%.

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