Published On: Wed, Aug 21st, 2019

Italy in chaos: Desperate rivals scramble to stop EU critic Salvini | World | News

Mr Conte quit his post yesterday during an explosive statement in the Italian Senate in which he aimed a stinging rebuke at , accusing him of instigating a “dizzying spiral of political and ” by essentially pulling the plug on the government. Deputy Prime Minister Mr Salvini’s right-wing party sought a no-confidence vote against earlier this month in a bid to force a snap general election – a move aimed at strengthening his power base in order to become Prime Minister himself.

Lega has been riding high in the polls in recent months, and enjoyed success in the recent European Parliamentary elections, taking 28 seats, a net gain of 23.

said he could be prepared to work with 5SM Movement if he felt it could lead to having a constructive attitude towards Europe.

He told France 2 television: “We ought to try and form a government, if it were possible.”

Mr Renzi, who served as the country’s Prime Minister from 2014 to 2016, stressed the importance of putting aside previous personal attacks upon him made by members of the 5-Star Movement.

Politicians from 5-Star and Renzi’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD) are openly discussing forming a new coalition which would push Salvini’s League party into opposition and give Italy a more centrist, pro-European government.

Mr Conte, a lawyer with no political experience was confirmed as Prime Minister last year, with Professor Nicola Chelotti, a lecturer at Loughborough University, suggesting he was a “”.


He added: “I see that the League leader lacks the courage to take responsibility for his actions.

“If there’s a lack of courage, don’t worry, I’ll take responsibility before the country that is watching us.”

Mr Salvini, who was sitting next to Mr Conte during his incendiary speech, smirking at times, declared, “I’d do it all again”.

He repeatedly kissed a rosary he slipped out of his pocket right after Mr Conte rebuked him for associating “political slogans with religious symbols”.

Pressing for elections as soon as possible, said: “I don’t fear Italians’ judgment.”

His anti-migrant rhetoric has been cited as a factor in Mr Salvini’s soaring popularity.

Mr Salvini has also railed against the EU on numerous occasions, lashing out against European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in April, when he said: “Italians won’t take lessons from .

“Europe has certainly not helped Italy in recent years, on the contrary it has damaged Italy.”

Early elections would pull the plug on Parliament three years ahead of schedule, perhaps as soon as late October – meaning the election campaign would coincide with the last few days of Britain’s membership of the EU, spelling a tense time for Brussels.

Supporters of 5SM demonstrated outside the Senate against Mr Salvini after Mr Conte’s announcement, with Lega colleague William De Vecchis pictured aiming a provocative gesture in their direction.

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