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An Italian Stop-Gap Appointment to Political and Economic Stability

Vetoing the Eurosceptic coalition nominee for finance minister, thus ending a last ditch effort by the coalition to form a new government, Italy's President Sergio Mattarella has appointed former International Monetary Fund (IMF) economist Carlo Cottarelli, as Prime Minister to oversee a caretaker government until new elections could be held in the European Union(EU) fourth largest economy.

Italy's March 2018 general elections failed to return a clear majority parliamentary winner from among the parties. Anti-establishment and Eurosceptic parties won most of the seats in the elections. Subsequent attempts by the top vote getters -  the coalition between the Five Star Movement and the League, have failed to materialize a new government. Discord among the coalition finally gave way to a probable new government formation.

However, citing economic concerns raised by Italian and abroad investors, President Mattarella, whose role is mainly ceremony, but has the power to appoint and to dissolve government, vetoed the coalition candidate for finance minister, 81-year-old Eurosceptic Paolo Savona, on fears of any attempts to move Italy away from the Euro Zone.

Ending the Eurosceptic coalition's long futile attempts to form a government, earlier today, Mattarella appointed economist Carlo Cottarelli, a support of the EU, to the post of stop-gap prime minister until new elections could be held. The appointment comes as a measure to stabilize political and economic affairs in Italy amid growing financial concerns. 

According to the BBC-News, Cottarelli plans to introduce a legislative program to parliament including a budget with plans for new elections by early 2019. But his intent and appointment could be railroaded by the Five Star Movement, whose leader, Luigi Di Maio has called on parliament to impeach President Mattarella for rescinding his coalition's pick for finance minister. Also, League leader, Matteo Salvini, in discontent over the president's action, has threatened mass protests, France 24 reports. Moreover, the coalition parties have also threatened not to approve a Cottarelli government.

If Cottarelli's plan is not accepted by parliament, then, as he has declared: "the government would resign immediately...until election are held after the month of August." In the meantime, Italy sits in the balance between the continuity of the stability of the EU and an untested populist agenda.