'Doing Putin a favour' Italy risks 'destabilising Europe' as Draghi to be ousted

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Italy’s president rejected the resignation of prime minister Mario Draghi on Thursday after a day of political drama that threatened to bring down a national unity government that has been in office less than 18 months. Mr Saccone claimed that the country’s political instability could favour Russia’s aggression and motives, with the centre-right Forza Italia party senator telling Draghi’s critics he would be “doing Putin a favour”.

Mario Draghi, the former European Central Bank (ECB) president, announced he was to resign on Thursday after the 5-Star Movement, a coalition party, failed to back him in a confidence vote over his plan to combat the cost of living crisis.

He stated: “The national unity coalition that backed this government no longer exists.”

The 74-year-old went to the Quirinale Palace in Rome to meet president Sergio Mattarella and hand in his resignation but Mattarella, the supreme arbiter in Italian politics, urged him to rethink.

Mattarella asked Draghi, who is an unelected technocrat, to address parliament to get a clearer picture of the political situation.

READ MORE: Draghi resignation REJECTED after shock move from Italian PM

Italy’s political turmoil comes as the country faces a debt crisis and a secular lack of economic growth.

During Draghi’s 17-month premiership, Italian borrowing costs rose, something he acknowledged at a news conference two months ago.

He told reporters: “This shows I’m not a shield against all events. I’m a human being, and so things happen.”

Italy is big enough to bring down the rest of the eurozone periphery as its €2.5 trillion (£2.12 trillion) government debt pile is larger than those of the other four countries combined and too big for a bailout.

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