Published On: Tue, Sep 3rd, 2019

Italy chaos: Eurosceptic Salvini makes last-ditch bid to scupper Rome coalition talks | World | News

The firebrand League leader, and outgoing interior minister, issued a decree blocking the Alan Kurdi rescue vessel from bringing migrants ashore in Italy. The boat, which is operated by the German Sea-Eye NGO, has 13 migrants that were rescued off of the coast of Libya in recent days. Mr Salvini is attempting to drive a wedge between the Five Star Movement and the Democratic Party as they hold crunch talks to form a new coalition government.

League were purged from the talks after he withdrew his support for prime minister Giuseppe Conte and called for elections earlier this month.

Now in a final effort to scupper the formation of a new government in Rome, Mr Salvini is using his powers to stir up a row between Five Star and the Democratic Party.

Last weekend, the two parties said they would end his ban on migrant boats arriving in Italy from Africa.

Mr Salvini said: “If the PD wants to reopen the doors and allow the business of illegal immigration to start up again, it should tell that to Italians.”

He has also vowed to to crackdown on another rescue boat with some 100 refugees aboard after the vessel docked in Sicily despite the government ban.

The Eleonore entered Italian waters without permission because of bad weather before being seized by authorities.

Mr Salvini wrote on Twitter yesterday: Laws and boundaries must be respected.

“If someone thinks of not caring about it without consequences, he made a big mistake and has a wrong minister: I do and I will do everything to defend Italy.”

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Another ship, the Mare Jonio is stuck in sight of the Italian southern island of Lampedusa with 34 migrants left on board out of around 100 that were rescued on Wednesday off Libya.

Rome agreed to allow women, children and sick people on board to disembark but refused to lift its ban on the ship entering Italian waters.

The Italian charity Mediterranea Saving Humans, which operates the Mare Jonio, said on Saturday that conditions on the ship were “difficult”, with scarcity of running water and after a storm in the past hours.

Mr Conte, who is acting prime minister, is expected to form the new government this week.

He is expected to present his political lineup to President Sergio Mattarella by tomorrow and they could be sworn in by the end of the week.

Five Star are currently polling their 100,000 members on their “direct-democracy” web platform before proceeding.

If their activists agree to the new coalition, then the government will be approved by the end of the week.

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