Italy’s president set the country on a path back to fresh elections on Monday, appointing a former International Monetary Fund official as interim prime minister with the task of planning for snap polls and passing the next budget.
The decision to appoint Carlo Cottarelli to form a stopgap administration sets the stage for elections that are likely to be fought over Italy’s role in the European Union and the euro zone, a prospect that is rattling global financial markets.
The euro zone’s third-largest economy has been seeking a new government since inconclusive March elections, with anti-establishment forces abandoning their efforts to form a ruling coalition at the weekend after a standoff with the president.
President Sergio Mattarella vetoed the parties’ choice of a eurosceptic as economy minister, prompting the 5-Star Movement and far-right League party to accuse him of betraying voters and to drop their plan to take power.
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