The Latest: Premier-designate to meet president at 1430 GMT

International By: The Bullet Wire 7:16 am

MILAN (AP) — The Latest on Italy’s political crisis (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

Italy’s president will receive a former IMF official tapped to head a technical government in the afternoon amid the ire of populists whose attempt at forming a government failed.

President Sergio Mattarella’s office said Tuesday that he will meet with Carlo Cottarelli at 1430 GMT (10:30 a.m. EDT).

Mattarella tapped Cottarelli for prime minister after the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and right-wing League refused to withdraw an anti-euro candidate as economy minister, foundering their attempt to establish a government after inconclusive elections in March.

Cottarelli will present his Cabinet list to Mattarella, following which he will need to seek a vote of confidence in parliament.

Both the 5-Stars and the League have said they will vote against a Cottarelli government, setting the stage for failure.

In that case, Cottarelli would run a caretaker government until new elections could be organized in the fall.

1:35 p.m.

Greece’s foreign minister says his country would like to see a “stable, democratic, pro-European” Italy and is indicating that Greece is concerned about the potential for financial turbulence.

Nikos Kotzias spoke after meeting his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, in Berlin on Tuesday. Germany has the eurozone’s biggest economy, while Greece is working to overcome a deep economic crisis that required a rescue program which ends in August.

Kotzias said that “we want a stable, democratic, pro-European Italy. We are concerned if it is unstable and that has effects on the financial situation, and this financial situation could perhaps create additional problems for us.”

He said that, in recent years, Italy “unfortunately … is no longer the country where the great European ideas are produced.”

11:15 a.m.

Italy’s central bank governor says that “the destiny of Italy is that of Europe,” as a political uncertainty threatens to drag the eurozone’s No. 3 economy into a new crisis.

Ignazio Visco said that “it is important that the voice of Italy is authoritative in contexts where the future of the European Union is decided,” referring to upcoming decisions at the EU regarding the governance of the bloc, multi-year budgets and the revision of financial rules.

Visco’s annual address on the state of the Italian economy came as a new premier-designate of what would be a non-political government of technocrats was preparing to present his Cabinet list to Italy’s president. Populist parties, meanwhile, are enraged that their attempts at forming a government foundered on their choice of an anti-euro economy minister.

Visco warned that investors would flee the system if they see their savings lose value because of an economic crisis, noting that “foreign investors would be the quickest.”


10:20 a.m.

An Italian premier-designate tapped to form a non-political government of technocrats is expected to present his Cabinet list to President Sergio Mattarella, but investors appeared dubious, sending markets plunging.

Italy’s stock market has opened down 1.8 percent and the spread between the Italian 10-year government bond and the benchmark German bund rose to 230 points, the highest level since October 2013, with interest rates at 2.9 percent.

The premier-designate, former International Monetary Fund official Carlo Cottarelli, meets Mattarella to present his ministerial picks later Tuesday, two days after an attempt by two populist forces to form a government foundered on the president’s rejection of their anti-euro economy minister.

Facing firm opposition, Cottarelli’s government is likely to fail confidence votes later in the week, pushing Italy back to elections in the fall.

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