Italian PM Conte resigns as coalition row deepens after Salvini’s calls for fresh elections
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has annouced his resignation, after delivering a blistering attack on Vice Premier Matteo Salvini after the deputy PM backed out of a shaky coalition.
Conte said he would step down on Tuesday, following a move last week by Salvini, who also serves as interior minister, to back out of a ruling coalition, plunging Italy into political turmoil.
“Salvini’s decision [to call time on the coalition] is serious, it has relevant consequences for the economic and social life of the country,” said Conte.
Conte submitted his formal resignation to President Sergio Matarella on Tuesday afternoon after the Senate debate, and Matarella has accepted it. Conte will reportedly remain Italy’s temporary ‘caretaker’ PM until his replacement is chosen.
Salvini, who leads Italy’s ruling League party, called for new elections earlier this month, saying that the coalition was no longer feasible. He had clashed a number of times with fellow Deputy Prime Minister Luigi di Maio, who heads the anti-establishment Five Star Movement.
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The resignation will not trigger a snap election immediately, however. Matarella will be tasked with deciding on the way forward, which could involve either a caretaker government if lawmakers approve — or he could install a new government if another parliamentary majority emerges.The Five Star Movement is reportedly in talks with the left-of-center Democratic Party to form a new government.