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Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi resigned this week, plunging Europe’s third largest economy into instability as it struggles with rising inflation and the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Draghi, the former chief of the European Central Bank, said he will step down amid cracks in his governing coalition over how to respond to the situation in Ukraine and the high inflation.

His decision came after his coalition partner, the Five Star Movement, boycotted a confidence vote on a wide-ranging policy package aimed at lowering inflation and battling rising energy costs, CNBC noted.

Following his announcement, the Democratic Party and other smaller center-left groups pleaded with Draghi to assemble a new government, while President Sergio Mattarella refused to accept his resignation.

The spotlight is now on Draghi, who is set to address parliament on Wednesday about his departure and probable future moves.

Analysts cautioned that a protracted period of uncertainty or a new, weakened prime minister might stymie Italy’s efforts to combat rising inflation. The Italian economy is already stagnating following a remarkable recovery from the pandemic-induced recession last year.

Observers noted that a snap poll is unlikely anytime soon because after the summer break, lawmakers will be occupied with approving the national budget. Others opined that Draghi could also remain in office – with or without the same coalition partners – until next year’s scheduled general elections.

Meanwhile, the recent crisis has seen rising support for the far-right Brothers of Italy party, which is not part of the coalition. Party chief Giorgia Meloni has urged members of Draghi’s coalition – the right-wing League and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia – to join her call for immediate elections.

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