After weeks of coalition turmoil between the increasingly popular Lega party and their governing partners, the 5-Star Movement, Italy’s PM Giuseppe Conte announced his resignation on Tuesday afternoon saying, ‘this government ends here”.
Conte’s resignation does not come entirely as a surprise after the ruling coalition has been locked in an increasingly rancorous debate over the future direction of the current government, after Matteo Salvini, said he would bring a vote of no-confidence in the Conte-led government.
Conte’s resignation will formally be presented to Italy’s president Sergio Mattarella. Mattarella will then be charged with measuring whether there is sufficient support for a new coalition to be put together or whether the country will need to hold elections next year.
In his address to Italian lawmakers, Conte accused the anti-establishment Lega of intentionally scuttling his negotiations with Brussels over Italy’s substantial budget deficit, saying, “the decisions made by Lega force me to interrupt the government.
Lega and 5-Star formed a governing coalition in June 2018 following a general election that saw the two anti-austerity parties set aside deep ideological differences in favor of a joint political program that focused on Italy’s most pressing economic and social issues.
Austerity measures enforced by Italy’s central bank caused poverty among the voters, which saw their savings perished and their retirement age screwed up.
However, Salvini’s tough line with the European institutions over the debt burden and the Italian government’s decision to implement strict rules against human trafficking, has significantly boosted his and Lega’s popularity amongst the voting public.
Responding to Conte’s accusations that Lega held the lion’s share of the blame for the collapse of the coalition, Salvini said he had “no regrets” and “would repeat everything he had done” up to this point.
His popular approach to dealing with issues that voters have cited as being priorities had been repeatedly stymied “by too many No’s” in the government.
New Europe / ABC Flash Point News 2019.