Five Star's Di Maio demands 'impeachment' of Italian president

New premier-designate Carlo Cottarelli

Italian prime minister-designate Giuseppe Conte on Sunday remitted his mandate after President Sergio Mattarella nixed his choice of euroskeptic economist Paolo Savona as finance minister.

President Mattarella's rejection of a eurosceptic being appointed as economy minister plunged the country into a political crisis, with the leader of one of the coalition parties calling for the impeachment of the head of state.

After inconclusive March 4 elections, they proposed a political novice, law professor Giuseppe Conte, as their choice to lead the next government.

Conte and Mattarella had met on Sunday to discuss officials selected by the anti-establishment 5 Star Movement and the rightist League to comprise the new government cabinet for Italy, which has been without a government for 84 days, reports Efe news.

Mattarella's veto Sunday enraged both League leader Matteo Salvini and the 5-Stars' Luigi Di Maio, who threatened to start impeachment proceedings against him.

The two populist parties attempting to form a coalition in Italy had pushed for Savona to be appointed to the pivotal role.

It had been feared that the populist coalition's proposals for a flat tax rate, allied to increased public spending, could a further explosion in see Italy's already soaring debt, breaking European Union rules.

"In the absence of [parliament's] confidence, the government would resign immediately and its main function would be the management of ordinary affairs until elections are held after the month of August". Mattarella is staunchly pro-Europe.

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President Sergio Mattarella is expected to ask a former International Monetary Fund official on Monday to head a stopgap government amidst political and constitutional turmoil, with early elections looking inevitable.

"Let's be clear then, what's the point of going to vote since governments are decided by the credit-rating agencies and the financial lobbies", Di Maio said on his Facebook page.

The newly-appointed PM Cottarelli vowed to establish a new government "very quickly" to take the country through this period before fresh elections are held in the fall of 2018 or early next year.

When the Five Star/League coalition refused to budge on their support, Mattarella used his presidential powers to reject Savona's appointment as a minister.

Italian media said the president would convene Carlo Cottarelli, an economist who assisted a former center-left government, to the palace late Monday morning.

Outgoing Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Sunday that the problem was not Savona, but the coalition's economic plan, which is "clearly unsustainable".

The question is whether he'll be able to get parliamentary approval, since the League and M5S between them have a majority in both Italy's houses of parliament.

With the prospect of elections possibly looming in a few weeks or months, Salvini might see a boost in what already has been steadily growing popularity, said political analyst Maurizio Molinari, who is La Stampa newspaper's editor-in-chief.

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