Di Maio calls for Mattarella to be impeached after candidate vetoed

European Union - Italy's Conte fights to form team as ally threatens new vote

Italian bonds surged the most since September and stocks rallied after President Sergio Mattarella vetoed populist leaders' choice of a euro-skeptic candidate for finance minister, fueling investor optimism that there are checks and balances in place that are working.

Giuseppe Conte, a little-known law professor, had been nominated by the anti-immigrant League and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement to head their coalition government.

The 81-year-old billionaire former prime minister released a statement on Sunday in which he praised Mattarella's efforts to "safeguard this country's families and businesses".

Luigi Di Maio of the populist Five Star Party said President Sergio Mattarella had caused an "institutional crisis".

Salvini, who was Savona's biggest advocate and a fellow eurosceptic, said on Sunday that Italy wasn't a "colony", and that "we won't have Germany tell us what to do".

Roth said he doesn't want to discuss the constitutional situation, but "we hope that there will be a stable, pro-European government in Italy without delay".

League leader Matteo Salvini and 5-Star chief Luigi Di Maio responded angrily, saying the president was acting beyond the powers the constitution assigns to him.

Shortly afterwards, he summoned former International Monetary Fund (IMF) senior official Carlo Cottarelli for a Monday morning meeting - an indication he may be considering asking him to head a government of unelected technocrats.

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Di Maio also scathingly criticized Mattarella's veto of Savona as "incomprehensible".

"Why don't we just say that in this country it's pointless that we vote, as the ratings agencies, financial lobbies decide the governments", a livid Di Maio said in a video on Facebook.

The president said he approved all of the other Cabinet picks, but rejected the coalition partners' choice for the economy portfolio out of concern it would have a negative effect on financial markets and the Italian economy.

Mr Mattarella's office declined to reveal his plans.

Mr Savona, who served as industry minister during the 1990s, has been an outspoken critic of the European Union and an opponent of austerity programmes.

On Friday, the closely watched gap between the Italian and German 10-year bond yields, seen as a measure of political risk for the euro zone, was at its widest in four years at 215 basis points. "I will evaluate that request in the coming hours, and I will take an initiative", Mr Mattarella said.

"The League and the 5-Star Movement are using unheard of words and unprecedented threats", caretaker PD leader Maurizio Martina said via Twitter. In a new book, Savona, described Italy's adoption of the euro as a "historic error", according to media accounts.

The centre-right Forza Italia party and the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) both denounced calls for impeachment.

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