Published On: Tue, Aug 20th, 2019

Italy crisis: French right rallies behind Salvini amid calls to block his bid for power | World | News

Speaking before Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced his resignation, following mounting pressure, the RN’s vice president, MEP Jordan Bardella, accused Sr Renzi of telling Italians to “shut up” amid a rise of populism in the nation. He tweeted on Friday: “Matteo Salvini is telling Italians: ‘express yourselves!’ while Matteo Renzi is telling Italians: ‘Shut up!’ And yet we’re to believe that @matteosalvinimi is the one who poses a danger to Italians, to Italian democracy and to Europe?” French right winger Marine Le Pen, one of Sr Salvini’s closest EU allies, also expressed support for her Italian counterpart, accusing the opposition of preventing the people of Italy from “giving their opinion”.

M Bardella and Mlle Le Pen, both staunch eurosceptics, were reacting to an interview published by France’s Le Monde on Friday in which Sr Renzi – the former leader of the Democratic Party (PD) – urged voters to block Sr Salvini’s bid for power. 

Sr Renzi said: “We must avoid the early election wanted by Matteo Salvini” although he stressed it was “not an obligation” but his “personal opinion”.

Sr Renzi’s warning comes after Sr Salvini, Italy’s deputy premier, declared his right-wing League party’s governing coalition with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement to be unworkable and called for early elections in an attempt to capitalise on his rising popularity and become the new prime minister.

However, his move has not gone to plan.

His push for early elections has hit a potential roadblock in the shape of Sr Renzi, who still wields strong influence over the centre-left PD.

Sr Renzi claimed it was “craziest crisis in the world” as he also told Le Monde: “Italy is used to having political convulsions. But the [crisis] triggered by Matteo Salvini is without precedent.”

The Italian centrist also excoriated the populist coalition, saying that the new government had “promised to change everything” when it took power in June 2018, but that after “just a year and two months, its failure is obvious to all”.

Sr Renzi added: “It has now been proven that populists, once in power, are incapable and incompetent.” 

He also praised 5-Star’s efforts to “distance itself from the League’s craziness”. 

Shortly after pulling the plug on the uneasy alliance, the League put forward a motion of no-confidence in the government, but both 5-Star and the PD have refused to debate it.

Italy’s 5-Star party on Sunday said Sr Salvini was no longer a credible partner and described his recent actions towards them as a “shameful U-turn in which he is trying to dictate conditions without credibility”.

Sr Renzi, for his part, has proposed a cross-party caretaker government to sort out some of the more pressing budget issues before the country heads back to the polls.

Giuseppe Conte today announced his resignation as he accused his own interior minister, Matteo Salvini, of “sinking the ruling coalition”.

Sr Conte, who belongs to neither of the coalition’s two parties, spoke to Italy’s parliament after it was recalled from its summer recess to decide the future today. 

During his speech, he claimed Sr Salvini was seeking to cash in on his rising popularity. 

Sr Conte told a packed Senate, while Sr Salvini sat next to him: “[Salvini] has shown that he is following his own interests and those of his party.

“His decisions pose serious risks for this country.”

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