Rome, January 26: Italy Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte tendered his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella. President Mattarella asked Conte to remains as a caretaker PM until the formation of the new government. Contre faced criticism over the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country. Researchers Find Italian Woman Infected With COVID-19 in November 2019: Reports.

The ruling coalition weakened this month after the withdrawal of Italia Viva party. The development came exactly a week after Conte won the first of two confidence votes at the Lower House of Parliament by 321 in favour, 259 against and 27 abstaining. Pope Francis Welcomes Rollout of COVID-19 Vaccine in Italy, Vatican Yet to Reveal Plans on His Inoculation.

Conte sought the confidence vote on January 19 after former PM Matteo Renzi, now a senator who leads the Italia Viva party, pulled out of the ruling majority last week. It sparked a government crisis in the European country. Renzi reportedly objected to Conte's plans for spending 209 billion euros ($254 billion) of European Union (EU) recovery fund.

Notably, Italy is one of the worst-affected countries in Europe. Till now, over 2,475,000 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, while the death toll has crossed 85,000-mark. There are currently more than 491,000 active cases in the European country.

(With inputs from IANS)

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 26, 2021 08:08 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website