Matteo Renzi, who last month pulled his Italia Viva party out of Italy’s ruling coalition, would like to see former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi become prime minister, according to media reports.

The former coalition allies are holding talks to try to revive their government, which collapsed last week when prime minister Giuseppe Conte resigned.

Renzi quit the coalition over Conte’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, in particular his plans for spending more than €200 billion from an EU fund to boost the economy. A party source confirmed a report in a local newspaper that Italia Viva would like Draghi to become the next prime minister.

On Sunday, Italian media reported that President Sergio Mattarella had already sounded out Draghi, who has largely vanished from the public eye since his ECB term ended in 2019.

On Friday, Mattarella asked lower house speaker Roberto Fico to mediate between the coalition parties, including Italia Viva, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and the 5-Star Movement. On Sunday, Fico said that the former coalition allies had showed their willingness to discuss about policy issues for the new government.

The PD and the 5-Star Movement have said they are willing to work again with Italia Viva. However, foreign minister Luigi Di Maio, a senior 5-Star leader, on Sunday called for a swift deal: “Either we get into our heads that we have to start again quickly … or else future generations will bemoan the follies of politicians who were fighting over seats rather than thinking about Italy’s problems”, he said.

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