Contributed from Victoria
Carlo Cottarelli, a former director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and economist, has been nominated as the prime minister of Italy by the president Sergio Mattarella. Cottarelli is to head a new government of technocrats.
And it has drawn widespread condemnation through the country.
This is the final outcome of an election two month ago, that resulted in no clear winner. The party with the most votes, the Five Star Movement (M5S), lashed out at the decision and is in no mood to cooperate.
The Northern League, which achieved the second highest poll result, also attacked the appointment. The rise of these parties, is the result of a public turning away from the traditional politicians, who are under a cloud of corruption and failure to resolve Italy’s grave economic situation. Cottarreli’s move is widely regarded as an attempt to maintain the status quo.
It has rebounded, because the move is widely regarded as more evidence that the political process is under the control of the banks, and that this is linked to dominance be the Germany and France dominated European union and Euro currency.
The nomination came one day after the two parties had formed a majority and agreed on a new government. The president would not accept this and blocked their choice for economy minister, because of criticism of the European Union and the Euro.
The leader of the Five Star Movement, Luigi Di Maio, said on television that “This is not free democracy. I have always esteemed President Mattarella, but this choice is simply incomprehensible to me.”
In addition to blocking the formation of an anti-European Union government, the appointed administration is to bring down a budget and prepare for a new election in a year’s time.
Critics point out that there is no constitutionally valid justification for the move and that it tramples over of respecting the will of the voters. Presumably, their will be an intention to set the ground for a political comeback of the traditional politicians.
Reaction has been so strong that Mattaralla has been forced to back down and and give some more time for the parties to form a government that is also acceptable to all political parities. This is unlikely to materialise, and there may be a push for an early new election.
Italians are asking, who is really running the country?
Europeans are witnessing another step, in the drift towards autocracy that is changing the political landscape of Europe.