Prime Minister Mario Draghi has agreed to resign, a report by Italian news agency ANSA, said on Thursday.
Draghi, a former head of the European Central Bank (ECB), had earlier Thursday, survived a no-confidence vote in the Italian Senate.
Although, Draghi had won the vote by 172-39, but signs that his government’s future was under question,came into the open as key coalition ally, the populist 5-Star Movement (5SM) boycotted the vote. This was a clear threat to his government.
5SM parliamentarians refused to participate in the vote over opposition to parts of a relief bill for skyrocketing energy prices that the confidence vote had been linked to.
Draghi has clearly stated that 5SM is a coalition partner in his unity government and that he has no intention of governing without them.
5SM leader Conte announced the boycott Wednesday, leading to speculation that Draghi may in fact hand in his resignation over the betrayal.
In a statement, Draghi said the pact of trust that had sustained the unity government had gone.
“I will hand my resignation to the president of the republic this evening”, he said in a statement shortly after he emerged from a meeting with President Sergio Mattarella.
The crisis in Italy was triggered when Five Star leader Giuseppe Conte refused to back the government’s €23bn (£19.5bn) package of economic aid for families and businesses, arguing Draghi was not doing enough to tackle the cost of living crisis.
Draghi became Italy’s sixth prime minister in 10 years when he took over from Giuseppe Conte of 5SM in February 2021.
Italians are scheduled to head to the polls in early 2023 but Thursday’s vote could quickly change that.