Italy's president dissolves parliament, triggering snap election following Draghi's resignation

Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi (R) submitted his resignation to Italy's President Sergio Mattarella at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome on Thursday.

Rome, Italy (CNN)Italy's President Sergio Mattarella dissolved parliament on Thursday, triggering a snap election following the resignation of the country's Prime Minister Mario Draghi earlier in the day. The national election will take place on September 25.

Mattarella branded the developments as "inevitable" following the political upheaval faced by the European Union's third largest economy over the last 24 hours.
In a short address from his residence at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, Mattarella thanked Draghi and his ministers "for their efforts over the past 18 months."
    "The political situation that has been determined has led to this decision," he added. "The discussion, the vote, and the manner in which this vote was cast yesterday in the Senate made clear the loss of parliamentary support for the government and the absence of prospects for forming a new majority. This situation made the early dissolution of the chambers inevitable."
      Mattarella said the period Italy is going through "does not allow for any pauses", in the statement issued at the end of his meeting with Senate President Elisabetta Casellati and House Speaker Roberto Fico.
      "I have the duty to emphasize that the period we are going through does not allow for pauses in the interventions that are indispensable to counteract the effects of the economic and social crisis and, in particular, of the rise in inflation, which, caused above all by the cost of energy and food, entails heavy consequences for families and businesses," he said.
      Draghi's resignation comes after several key parties in his coalition -- the powerful 5-Star movement, the largest party in the country's coalition government, center-right Forza Italia and the far-right League -- boycotted a confidence vote in the government Wednesday night.
        The centrist leader's resignation came despite his popularity among many inside the country and support from world leaders, who view him as an important European voice in standing up to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his war in Ukraine.
        Draghi's resignation not only presents a challenge for the future of Italy -- but also for Europe.

        A political pandora's box

        Draghi, a prominent economist unaffiliated with any political party, became prime minister in February 2021, leading a cabinet of ministers from across the country's vast political spectrum.
        He's the fifth prime minister to lead the country in just eight years, following the resignation of Giuseppe Conte in early 2021 over his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
        The former European Central Bank chief won the moniker "Super Mario" for saving the euro during Europe's sovereign debt crisis. He worked closely with finance minister Daniele Franco to prepare a reforms plan for Italy that will allow it to obtain a 209-billion euro package from the European Covid-19 recovery fund.
        However, last week, 5-Star withdrew its support in a parliamentary confidence vote on an economic package designed to tackle Italy's cost-of-living crisis.
        Draghi had previously said he would not lead a government that did not include 5-Star. Meanwhile, the hard-right League and centre-right Forza parties have dismissed the possibility of staying in government with 5-Star, leaving the government on the brink of collapse and sending the FTSE MIB, Italy's main stock market, down more than 2.5%.
        With Draghi's resignation and its government dissolved, Italy will now have to wait for elections to pass any reforms and to pass its 2023 budget. The crisis will affect ordinary Italians, as without a functioning government, Italy will not be able to access billions of euros from the EU's Covid-19 fund.
        Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi addresses to the lower house of parliament ahead of a vote of confidence in Rome on Wednesday.

        A blow for Ukraine

        Draghi has been a key figure in the West's response to Russia's war in Ukraine. He was one of the first European leaders to propose sanctions against Russia, including targeting its oligarchs and ratcheting up pressure on its central bank.
        He has also supported Ukraine's bid for EU candidacy.
        From Left: Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, French President Emmanuel Macron and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis meet for a working session in Kyiv, on June 16, 2022.