Italian PM quits four day after being asked to form government

European Union - Italy's Conte fights to form team as ally threatens new vote

Italy's efforts to form government break down as eurosceptic Savona rejected

On Monday, President Sergio Mattarella tapped Cottarelli to try to form a government that can bring Italy to a new election, which Cottarelli said could come as early as this autumn.

Rome: Italy sank deeper into political turmoil as populist leaders pulled the plug on their attempt to form a government after the president rejected the choice of a euro-skeptic, Germany-bashing candidate as finance minister.

Mattarella became the target of populist rage when he said he rejected the populists' choice of Paolo Savona for finance minister for the good of the country and the financial "savings of families" that had been endangered by rising bond spreads and market concerns.

"It won't be an election, it will be a referendum between Italy and those on the outside who want us to be a servile, enslaved nation on our knees", said the League's Matteo Salvini.

The greenback was up 0.05 per cent at 109.400 yen after going as high as 109.830 on a slight ebb in risk aversion after U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday a U.S. team had arrived in North Korea to prepare for a proposed summit between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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Appoint a technocratic government to rule for the remainder of 2018, with elections delayed until early next year.

However, Italians could be heading back to the polls as Mr Mattarella said he was considering political party leaders' requests for another election.

Mattarella told reporters that it's important for confidence in broader financial markets that Italy signals its intentions to remain part of the euro.

He will face staunch opposition from the two populist forces that won most votes in the March 4 election - the anti-establishment 5Star Movement and the far-right League.

Europe's latest head-on collision between the establishment and populism has sparked a political and constitutional crisis in Italy, and threatens to shake both the eurozone and the European Union.

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League leader Matteo Salvini and 5-Star chief Luigi Di Maio responded angrily, saying the President was acting beyond the powers the constitution assigns to him.

After being named interim prime minister, Cottarelli said he would present a programme that would include the 2019 budget to parliament, and dissolve the assembly if it is approved with new elections held in early 2019.

More likely than an actual impeachment, however, the new populist platform will nearly certainly be modified to include a reworking of presidential powers to impede the holder of the office-who is not directly elected by citizens-from contravening the democratically expressed will of the people. "The main risk is that the stand-off will further embolden the 5-Star, and especially the League". Then, the combined parliament of about 950 members would have to vote to impeach the president with an absolute majority. Some things can not be done in the throes of anger.

On Monday, Salvini threatened to break his alliance with pre-election right-wing coalition partner Silvio Berlusconi should the media mogul's Forza Italia party vote for the government.

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