Published On: Tue, Aug 13th, 2019

EU news: Brussels rattles as Italy’s Matteo Salvini prepares for new budget clash | World | News

last week moved a motion of no confidence in Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in the Senate over claims of a complete break with his coalition partners in the (M5S). Italian senators are due to hold a vote within the next two weeks and several polls suggest Mr Salvini could see his Lega party triumph at the polls but the M5S is believed to be considering an alliance with the Democratic Party (PD) to stop him from taking over. As uncertainty remains on whether Italy will head to the ballot before the year is out, the has been warned to brace for a new bitter battle with Italy over their budget issues. 

Speaking to DW News on Tuesday, Dr Markus Will from the University of St. Gallen said: “If Mr Salvini really were to become Prime Minister, the and the discussions with Brussels will be very, very difficult – no doubt about it.

“Whether he will become Prime Minister remains to be seen. But if you have a budget surplus, a deficit of one or two percent isn’t really the issue because we actually need to get down from the 1.35 GDP to that in Italy amounted over the years.”

Rome and Brussels spent months trading barbs last year after the Italian Government submitted plans to exceed spending limitations imposed under EU budget regulations.

After a lengthy row with EU chiefs in December, Italy agreed to lower its 2019 deficit target to 2.04 percent of GDP from an originally planned 2.4 percent.

Italy has struggled to recover from the impact of the 2008 economic crisis but has remained the third-largest economy in the after Germany and France.

Mr Salvini pulled the plug on his coalition with the M5S following months of disagreement with co-deputy Prime Minister – with the EU-founded project for a high-speed train () between Italy and France serving as the final straw to end their alliance.

The deeply divided leaders ordered the upper house Senate to break summer recess on Tuesday so they can decide when to hold the vote, which could trigger the downfall of independent Prime Minister Conte.

Mr Salvini accused his former partner of planning to “scam Italians” with his proposals to form a new electoral pact with the PD, the party previously led by former Prime Minister

Mr Letta, who served as Italian leader between April 2013 and February 2014, said Mr Salvini has “no principles”.

Speaking during an interview at Lamezia Terme airport, he said: “One day, he can say he wants Europe, the next that he wants to leave.

“The political chaos in Italy is complete and it’s linked to the failure of this government majority.”

The former Prime Minister branded the Lega leader a “big opportunist” whose path was “not only sovereignist and racist,” but whose “anti-migrant, anti-integration” ideas were becoming more widely accepted.

He also predicted that new elections were “fairly likely”.

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