Italy’s president asks parties to approve EU recovery plan before crisis – media

Italian President Sergio Mattarella speaks during a ceremony on the tenth anniversary of the death of former Italian President Francesco Cossiga, at the University of Sassari, in Sassari, Italy

Italian President Sergio Mattarella has called on ruling parties to approve a European Union recovery plan before dealing with a looming political crisis, Italian newspapers reported on Monday.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte faces a showdown with his coalition partner and former premier Matteo Renzi this week that could bring down his government even as it struggles to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Renzi’s Italia Viva party has called for radical changes in the government’s plans aimed at relaunching the economy.

Matters could come to a head at a cabinet meeting expected on Wednesday, when Conte is expected to ask ministers to support his recovery plan. If Italia Viva’s two ministers refuse, the prime minister will go to parliament and start work on trying to find a new consensus.

While the president does not have the power to keep the party from withdrawing its ministers, he can exercise moral suasion.

It was not immediately possible to get comment from the president’s press office.

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