At the height of the banking crisis and after a period when it had been suffering a generation of low economic growth anyway, Italy faced total financial and political collapse. It became impossible to find a government, because anyone in government would face an unfeasible situation and an inevitable set of unpopular decisions ahead. At least, it became impossible to find a government made up of politicians…
So Italy effectively skipped the politicians and appointed an academic, Mario Monti, as Prime Minister. He took some tough decisions, and while all is still far from well in the country, its finances stayed afloat (and it even remained within the Eurozone). The politicians are now back in control and normal service (admittedly rarely a good thing in Italy) has been resumed.
What about that for an idea, at least to get a local Executive up and running while talks are ongoing?
In effect, a group of expert Commissioners would be appointed to hold Ministerial responsibilities (with perhaps Executive Office temporarily subsumed within the NIO) and manage at least the Budget and public policy. It would not even be necessary to cover each Department with a single “Commissioner-Minister”. The Health “Commissioner-Minister” could be one of Bengoa’s or Compton’s expert panel; the Finance or Economy “Commissioner-Minister” an expert from the defunct ERINI or a think tank; and so on. Assembly Committees would remain in place to scrutinise Budget and policy, and even to pass any absolutely necessary legislation (for example around implementation of Health Reform).
That would put a government in place, and allow talks to continue to restore “proper devolution” through reformed and improved institutions.
A thought, anyway?