Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi resigns after coalition falls apart

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has handed his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella after his unity government fell apart, plunging the country into political turmoil and hitting financial markets.

Mr Mattarella’s office said in a statement that the head of state had “taken note” of the resignation and asked Mr Draghi to remain in a caretaker capacity.

The statement did not say what Mr Mattarella would do next.

Political sources said earlier this week that he would likely dissolve parliament and call early elections in October.

Mr Mattarella plans to meet the speakers of both houses of parliament on Thursday afternoon.

talian President Sergio Mattarella delivers a speech at a podium with flags behind him
Sergio Mattarella released a statement that he had “taken note” of the resignation.(AP: Claudio Giovannini/ANSA)

Italy’s government crumbled on Wednesday when three of Mr Draghi’s main partners snubbed a confidence vote he had called to try to end divisions and renew their fractious alliance.

“In the light of the vote taken by the Senate last night … I am on my way to the president of the republic to inform him of my intentions,” Mr Draghi told the lower house of parliament, where he received lengthy applause from members.

The political crisis has up-ended months of stability in Italy, during which respected former central banker Mr Draghi had helped shape Europe’s tough response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and had boosted the country’s standing in financial markets.