Sergio Mattarella

Regional News • Europe • Italy
Mario Draghi accepts mandate to form new Italian government
Mario Draghi
Mario Draghi Credit: INSM (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Mario Draghi, the former European Central Bank chief, has accepted a mandate to try to form a new Italian government as the country seeks a way out of the political crisis triggered by the collapse of its most recent coalition. Draghi was summoned on Wednesday to meet Italy’s president, Sergio Mattarella, after ruling coalition partners failed to form a majority following Giuseppe Conte’s resignation as prime minister last week. Mattarella ruled out calling early elections, adding that a “high profile” technical government was needed to steer the country.

Draghi said on Wednesday he was confident “unity will emerge” from dialogue with political parties and parliamentary groups. However, it is unclear whether he will win the broad support needed from political forces.

Regional News • Europe • Italy
Giuseppe Conte quits as Italy's PM in tactical move
Giuseppe Conte
Giuseppe Conte Credit: G20 Argentina (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, has resigned in a tactical move aimed at maximising his chances of leading a new government.

Conte officially handed his resignation on Tuesday to the president, Sergio Mattarella, who will begin consultations with party leaders on Wednesday. Mattarella asked Conte to stay on in a caretaker capacity while talks continued.

If Mattarella believes Conte has a strong enough prospect of forming a majority, then he could be reappointed and tasked with forming a new executive with a broader coalition.

Conte’s resignation comes after he survived confidence votes in both houses of parliament last week after the former prime minister Matteo Renzi triggered a political crisis by withdrawing his small Italia Viva party from the ruling coalition. However, the confidence votes left Conte with only a slim majority and he has since failed to strengthen support.

If Conte succeeds in forming a broad coalition, it would be his third administration in less than three years.

Regional News • Europe • Italy
Italian Government left without Parliamentary Majority as Matteo Renzi Pulls his Party from Ruling Coalition
Matteo Renzi
Matteo Renzi Credit: Università Ca' Foscari Venezia

The Giuseppe Conte-led administration is teetering on the brink of collapse after the former prime minister, Matteo Renzi, pulled his small Italia Viva party from the ruling coalition. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte could now either offer his resignation to the president, Sergio Mattarella, who could give him a mandate to try to forge a new alliance, or go to parliament for a vote of confidence. Other possible outcomes include Mattarella putting together a broad-based government of national unity or, failing that, calling elections.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Actress Franca Valeri dies aged 100
Franca Valeri in 2011
Franca Valeri in 2011 Credit: Associazione Amici di Piero Chiara / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Italian actress Franca Valeri has died at the age of 100 in her sleep at her Roman home on August 9. Valeri, the pioneer of female comic roles in Italy's post-war, was described by Italy's President Sergio Mattarella as a "versatile and popular actress who will remain in the hearts of Italians for her great talent and her extraordinary likability."

Valeri started working in film in the early 1950s and worked alongside Italian actor Totò and directors Federico Fellini and Mario Monicelli. She died just nine days after her 100th birthday.