1 of 3 | Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, pictured during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem in June, resigned on Thursday after his coalition government appeared to fall apart. Italian President Sergio Mattarella rejected the resignation and called on Draghi to explain his reasoning to parliament next week. Pool Photo by Abir Sultan/UPI | License Photo
July 14 (UPI) -- Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi told the country's cabinet in a statement Thursday he will resign after losing the support of the populist government coalition partner Five Star, but Italian President Sergio Mattarella later rejected the resignation.
"I want to announce that this evening I will my tender my resignation to the president of the republic," Draghi said on Thursday evening.
"Today's parliamentary votes are a very politically significant fact. The majority of national unity, which supported this government since its inception, no longer exists," he said in the statement.
Mattarella later said in a statement that he was rejecting Draghi's resignation and asked for an "assessment of the situation" from Draghi before parliament to explain his reasoning.
"The pact of trust that this government's actions have been founded on came undone," Draghi's office had said in the statement to the Italian Cabinet.
Five Star refused to support the government's $23 billion economic aid package for businesses and families, triggering an economic crisis for Italy.
Draghi, the former head of the European Central Bank, has led a unity government coalition since February of 2021.
The government won a confidence vote Thursday in the Senate, but Draghi had warned that without Five Star's support the government could not stand.
Five Star leader Giuseppe Conte indicated his group is willing to continue talking with Draghi and said the group is "available for dialogue and to give a contribution to the government."
Mattarella and other leaders in the parliament are looking to hold the current government coalition together at least until elections scheduled for early 2023 for the good of the nation.
Enrico Letta, leader of Italy's Democratic Party, said on Twitter that the country has five days -- ahead of Draghi's address to parliament -- to see if they can pull their government out of the "tailspin" it appears to be entering.