Sunday, December 11, 2016

Update: Italian President Sergio Mattarella Selects Paolo Gentiloni to be Prime Minister

           The President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, today gave a mandate to Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, a member of the ruling center-left party, to try to form a government led by him as prime minister.  Gentiloni accepted the mandate and cited earthquake relief and fixing the electoral law as priorities before early elections that are likely next year.  He is expected to be able to win a parliamentary vote of confidence as soon as possible with support from the current junior coalition partners—a small center right and small centrist party.      

           The conservatives, who are fourth largest in Parliament, will not oppose him, unlike the anti-establishment populists and anti-immigrant parties, who are second and third, respectively, who wanted elections immediately.  Outgoing premier Matteo Renzi, who resigned after the rejection of constitutional reforms, declined a second mandate.

           The period without an effective government was one of the shortest among dozens in Italian history, which was because of Mattarellas interest in minimizing the effects of the crisis on Italys fiscal and economic well-being, as explained in my last post.  The pro-American Gentiloni is expected to keep Italy as one of the staunchest allies of the United States and a participant in various anti-terrorism interventions. 

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