Conte has stepped down - now what?

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned on Tuesday, as announced. He narrowly won two votes of confidence last week, but was forced to operate with a minority government after Matteo Renzi's Italia Viva party withdrew from his coalition government. Observers discuss whether Conte can or should be able to secure a third mandate.

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Kauppalehti (FI) /

Let the technocrats rule!

Building trust is the name of the game now, Kauppalehti comments:

“President Sergio Mattarella is now expected to take decisive action similar to that of Giorgio Napolitano after the fall of Silvio Berlusconi's government. Back then, the technocratic government led by economist Mario Monti prevented a complete collapse. Now the same job will probably be offered to Mario Draghi, who with his renowned good connections can also strengthen confidence in Italy in Brussels. Should President Mattarella seek to install a new political government instead, the irresponsible policies of the populists could well continue. In the worst case this could mean that Italy, on the verge of insolvency, won't get any money from the EU recovery package simply because it can't come up with a credible plan for how it will be used.”

Azonnali (HU) /

A cunning move

By resigning, the prime minister has a chance to save his government, says Azonnali:

“Conte no doubt wants to prevent a vote of no confidence against his justice minister on Wednesday. He is probably convinced by now that the latter would not secure a majority. ... The fate of a third Conte government depends on whether he can get Renzi to side once more with the government majority and/or win over at least five senators. Conte is buying time with his resignation, since the move will allow him to continue to govern as the caretaker head of government for the time being. And if he receives a new government mandate from [President Sergio] Mattarella, he could gain a few more weeks.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

New energy and more tempo, please

For Corriere della Sera, Conte has squandered his chances of continuing to govern:

“It's obvious that we need a change of pace. The aim now must be to put the endless delays behind us and tackle the two terrible years that lie in wait for Italy with a coalition that is up to the challenge of working together competently. The crisis, which began on 13 January and, surreally, has still not been resolved, was precipitated by Italia Viva pulling out for what most people regard as unintelligible reasons: but it was fuelled by the shortsightedness of the prime minister's plan for distributing the 209 billion euros from the EU's emergency coronavirus funds.”