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Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi attends a news conference during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, on June 24.JOHANNA GERON/Reuters

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced on Thursday that he intended to resign after a rebellion from the populist, anti-establishment Five Star Movement party triggered the rupture of his national unity government.

In a statement released in the early evening in Rome, Mr. Draghi said he would deliver his resignation notice to President Sergio Mattarella, the Italian head of state. “The national unity majority that has supported this government since its creation is gone,” Mr. Draghi said. “The pact of trust underlying the government’s action has failed.”

But later in the evening, Mr. Mattarella rejected Mr. Draghi’s resignation offer, ending the immediate threat of a government collapse but leaving unclear how the political turmoil might be resolved. He asked Mr. Draghi to address parliament next week to determine how much support his government could command.

Mr. Draghi, who is unelected and signalled earlier this year that he wanted to leave politics, could still quit, triggering an early election.

He has been Italy’s prime minister since February, 2021, when he was appointed head of a unity government charged with restoring the pandemic-battered Italian economy. He is the former president of the European Central Bank and is credited with saving the euro from destruction during the height of the financial crisis a decade ago.

Even before Mr. Mattarella rejected Mr. Draghi’s resignation, political strategists said the president would likely not allow Mr. Draghi to leave, given the political and economic chaos it might cause as the Italian economy slows, sovereign borrowing costs rise and soaring bills for energy and food sap consumer confidence.

“Mattarella believes that, given the challenges ahead for Italy, he should try to stick with Draghi,” Francesco Galietti, chief executive officer of Policy Sonar, an Italian political consultancy, said in an interview. “It seems likely that Mattarella will ask Draghi to seek a vote of confidence next week.”

Mr. Draghi and Mr. Mattarella might be gambling that the Five Star Movement (M5S), if faced with the threat of an early election that could end with them largely banished from parliament, could reverse course and back Mr. Draghi in the next vote.

M5S was founded by comedian Beppe Grillo and emerged as the biggest party in the 2018 general election. Since then, it has been steadily losing popularity and has been ripped apart by internal squabbling.

Last month, Luigi Di Maio, the foreign minister in the unity government, left M5S after clashing with Giuseppe Conte, the pandemic-era prime minister who led the party and was replaced by Mr. Draghi. Mr. Conte and Mr. Di Maio had fundamentally different views of the war in Ukraine. Mr. Conte opposed sending lethal weapons to help Ukraine fight Russia; Mr. Di Maio was in favour of the weapons transfers.

The immediate cause of the collapse of the unity government was M5S′s boycott of a vote on a €26-billion ($34-billion) cost-of-living bill. The party argued that the funds set aside to help households cope with rising prices for energy and food was insufficient.

“I have a strong fear that September will be a time when families will face the choice of paying their electricity bill or buying food,” Mr. Conte said after a party meeting on Wednesday.

Because Mr. Draghi still commanded a majority, the bill was passed in the Senate. But he had always said he would only lead a national unity government and that he could not continue without the support of M5S.

The many supporters of Mr. Draghi want him to remain in office until at least next year, if only to ensure that Italy passes a crucial budget in the autumn as the cost of living climbs, hurting poor families, and plans are made to spend billions of euros in European pandemic-recovery funds.

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