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Italy is heading back to the polling booths in 2019 at the latest, after President Sergio Mattarella rejected the coalition’s proposed Minister of Economic Affairs. In a televised debate on Sunday, Mattarella explained that he did not condone the choice for 81-year-old Paolo Savona, because the economist is no fan of the Euro, telling the press

Membership of the euro is a fundamental choice. If we want to discuss it, then we should do so in a serious fashion.

This did not sit well with coalition partners-to-be Lega Nord and Movimento 5 stella, the Five Star Movement, who have been negotiating a government since March. They have responded furiously, with Lega Nord chief Matteo Salvini voicing a popular theory about outside influence on the President’s decision:

If there’s not the OK of Berlin, Paris or Brussels, a government cannot be formed in Italy. It’s madness, and I ask the Italian people to stay close to us because I want to bring democracy back to this country.

Meanwhile Prime Minister-designate Carlo Cottarelli is quoted as saying he will present a program to parliament which, if accepted, will tie the country over to new elections in the beginning of 2019.

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.