Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi tendered his resignation, but it has not been accepted ©Getty Images

Italy, the host of the next Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, has been plunged into major political uncertainty after Prime Minister Mario Draghi offered his resignation.

Draghi tendered his resignation in response to a rebellion from the Five Star Movement, a coalition partner, but it has not been accepted by Italy's President Sergio Mattarella.

Drahgi, who previously was President of the European Central Bank and earned praise in both that role and as Italian Prime Minister for being a stabilising figure, is expected to address Parliament on Wednesday (May 20), when Italy's political future may become more clear.

Some Drahgi supporters maintain hope he will have enough support to remain in power.

While Drahgi's Government survived a confidence vote last week, the Prime Minister chose to resign because the Five Star Movement - a coalition partner - voted against him.

The crisis comes shortly after a host of local politicians called for an urgent meeting with Draghi to discuss concerns about funding for the Olympics and Paralympics.

Government representatives from Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, co-hosts of the 2026 Winter Games, as well as from the regions of Lombardy and Veneto and provinces of Trento and Bolzano signed a letter asking for the meeting.

According to Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano, which obtained a copy of the letter, the officials claimed there was "no money" for Milan Cortina 2026 and said "there are four years left and we are worried".

The Olympic flag went on display at Milan's Palazzo Marino this month in preparation for the next Winter Olympics ©Comune di Milano
The Olympic flag went on display at Milan's Palazzo Marino this month in preparation for the next Winter Olympics ©Comune di Milano

Milan Cortina 2026 is yet to announce any sponsorship deals, which has contributed to the money fears.

While Italy's Prime Minister is technically appointed by the President, they are the head of Government and the most powerful political figure in the country.

The President is the head of state.

Mattarella, 80, was re-elected in January for another seven-year term, despite having previously indicated he would like to step down.

Coalition parties being unable to agree on a successor led to Mattarella's return, which was viewed as a sign of stability and therefore a boost for Milan Cortina 2026.

Draghi was installed as the leader of a unity Government in February 21 after the previous regime - led by Five Star leader Giuseppe Conte - collapsed.

The Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony is set for February 6 in 2026 at Milan's famous San Siro football stadium.

Eight sports are on a programme which spans much of north-eastern Italy, before the Winter Paralympics follow from March 6 to 15.