[The Italian president's legitimate ability to refuse the populist parties' nominee for Economy Minister] is certainly how it's been interpreted on at least three other occasions in the past 24 years: in 2014, Mattarella's predecessor, Giorgio Napolitano, opposed the Democratic Party's first choice of Justice Minister because, it was widely speculated, he disagreed with his approach. In 2001 President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi put the kibosh on the appointment of a League stalwart to the Ministry of Justice since he once resisted an official search of the party's premises, and in 1994 President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro prevented Silvio Berlusconi from installing his personal lawyer in the same post. 

None of those interventions caused the collapse of the entire proposed cabinet, however, because in each case the parties put forward an alternative -- even if the disputed nominee was simply shifted to a different portfolio. Yet according to Mattarella, the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the League proved "unwilling to opt for any other solution".

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