Published On: Tue, Aug 20th, 2019

Italy crisis: Fresh attack on Salvini as Conte resigns – will there be an election? | World | News

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has announced today he will resign in his address to the Senate. He said of the deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, who is the leader of the right-wing Lega party: “(Salvini) has shown that he is following his own interests and those of his party… his decisions pose serious risks for this country.” According to reports, Mr Salvini was sitting next to Mr Conte during his address, where he was seen shaking his head and rolling his eyes as he was criticised.

Lega is currently in a coalition with the populist Five Star Movement (M5S). Mr Conte, who was chosen to lead the coalition, addressed the Senate today at 3pm local time (2pm GMT).

Mr Conte has previously accused Mr Salvini of being “obsessed” with closing off Italy’s ports to migrants.

Although he leads the coalition, Mr Conte does not belong to either Lega or M5S.

Political tension in Italy has been simmering for a while.

Nearly two weeks ago, Mr Salvani called for a snap election after acknowledging the coalition had crumbled.

READ MORE: Salvini has Italian left running scared – cancels MPs holiday for vote

Issues arose between the Lega and M5S after parliament rejected the M5S proposal to block a high-speed rail project between the Italian city of Turin and the French city of Lyon.

MS5’s proposal to block the project had garnered the party much of its popularity.

In the aftermath, MS5 leader Luigi Di Maio appeared to endorse another election, stating “Lega has mocked Italians.”

Beppe Grillo, who began the MS5 movement, has moved back into the limelight this weekend, reportedly calling Mr Salvini “the traitor minister.”

READ MORE: Salvini excited for Italian election as no confidence vote announced

In the aftermath of the vote, Mr Salvini released a statement calling on prime minister Conte to “acknowledge there is no longer a majority, as evidenced by the vote and the repeated insults against me.”

Salvini then tabled a no-confidence motion in the Senate with the hopes of dissolving the coalition.

What happens next depends on the actions of Italy’s Prime Minister Sergio Mattarella.

Mr Conte’s resignation could be rejected by the President.

President Mattarella could request the Prime Minister remains in his post to oversee the development of a new coalition government.

The President could also decide to call early elections. 

M5S and the Democratic Party have expressed their wish to unite in the face of Italy’s growing political struggle.

Mr Salvini is hopeful to make Lega Italy’s biggest political party after he saw his popularity sharply rise since coming to power 14 months ago.

His party remains ahead in the polls, doubling support from 17 percent in the 2018 general election to 34 percent in the European election this year.

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