Italy president names ex-IMF official as interim leader with fresh elections expected

  • Former International Monetary Fund official Carlo Cottarelli has been appointed as Italy's interim prime minister.
  • Anti-establishment forces abandoned their efforts to form a ruling coalition at the weekend after a standoff with the president.
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Pier Marco Tacca | Getty Images

Italy's president appointed former International Monetary Fund official Carlo Cottarelli as interim prime minister on Monday with a task to try and form a new government and bring order to political and constitutional turmoil.

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 over their choice of economy minister.

Cottarelli said on Monday that he will put together a government "very quickly" to accompany the country to fresh elections, to be held in the fall or early next year.

"I'll present myself to parliament with a program which — if it wins the backing of parliament — would include the approval of the 2019 budget. Then parliament would be dissolved with elections at the beginning of 2019," Cottarelli said shortly after being named interim prime minister by Italy's president.

"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," Cottarelli added.