ROME: More than 1,000 Italian mayors signed a petition Sunday urging Prime Minister Mario Draghi to rethink his resignation and steer the country through the choppy waters of rampant inflation, EU reforms and war.
“The government must continue”, said the petition, which was signed by mayors from Florence to Rome and Venice.
Draghi offered his resignation to Italy’s president on Thursday — but was asked to take time to sound out whether it was possible to carry on with the current government until the general election early next year.
He is expected to address parliament on Wednesday, either to lay out his plan for keeping the government alive or to repeat his belief that his only option is to resign at the helm of the eurozone’s third largest economy.
The mayors’ petition slammed the “irresponsible behaviour” of Five Star Movement, a member of the ruling coalition that sat out a confidence vote last week, a move Draghi had warned would bring down the government.
Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi and far-right leader Matteo Salvini, both of whom have parties in Draghi’s coalition, said Sunday they could no longer govern with Five Star, due to its “incompetence and unreliability”.
Berlusconi and Salvini are both “ready” to go to the polls “even very shortly”, if necessary, their joint statement said.
The mayors said they were watching events unfold “with disbelief and concern”.
“Our cities… cannot afford a crisis today that means immobilism and division, where action, credibility, seriousness are now needed,” the petition said.
The post-pandemic recovery and social emergency mean “now, more than ever, we need stability, certainty and consistency in order to continue the transformation of our cities.
“Because without the rebirth of these, Italy will not be reborn either,” it said.