Published On: Tue, Aug 20th, 2019

Italy news: Giuseppe Conte resigns as Prime Minister | World | News

Giuseppe Conte spoke to parliament after it was recalled from its summer recess to decide the future today. He claimed Mr Salvini was seeking to cash in on his rising popularity. Mr Conte told a packed Senate, while Mr 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.”

Mr Conte, who belongs to neither of the coalition’s two parties, is expected to hand in his resignation later in the day.

This will allow the head of state to start formal consultations with parties to see if a new coalition can be formed.

If this doesn’t happen, President Sergio Mattarella would dissolve parliament.

While Mr Conte was speaking about him, Mr Salvini shook his head, rolled his eyes or nodded to League senators.

On the other side of Mr Conte sat Luigi Di Maio, head of the League’s now-estranged coalition partner, the 5-Star Movement.

This party was branded as obstructionist by Mr Salvini over the past 12 days after he pulled the plug on their alliance.

Mr Salvini has demanded early elections, three and a half years ahead of schedule.

READ MORE: Italy crisis: Conte resigns – will there be an election?

He also added that working with Mr Conte “was an honour”.

If no new parliament is formed, there could be a new general election as early as October.

But Mr Salvini said he triggered a government crisis in the middle of the summer because he does not fear the prospect of an early vote.

He addressed senators on Tuesday after Mr Conte’s announcement spelled the end of the populist government forged only 14 months ago.

Mr Salvini said he would “do again everything I did … I’m a free man and I don’t fear Italians’ judgment”.

He has been planning to become Italy’s next leader as support for his party grows on his anti-migrant stance.

Earlier, Mr Conte had blasted Mr Salvini for acting only to pursue his “personal interests” and capitalise on his soaring popularity.

Mr Conte also stressed that a sudden government crisis puts Italy at risk of “political and financial instability.”

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