Tuesday, 20 August, 2019


Italy’s League to present no-confidence motion in govt

Italy 10 Year Bond German 10 Year Bond Spread Chart Salvini calls for snap polls amid coalition crisis
Bennie Garza | 13 August, 2019, 15:41

Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini's League presented a motion of no confidence in prime minister Giuseppe Conte in the Italian Senate on Friday.

The rift between the League and M5S widened on Wednesday when parliament rejected a motion by M5S to block a high-speed rail project linking Italy and France.

READ ALSO: Is italy's League a "far-right" party?

Conte, who does not belong to either party, reacted angrily to Salvini's demands.

If the government collapses and opposition parties can come up with no workable alternative, a snap election could be called for October to reconstitute parliament.

He could first try to form a new government from the existing legislature.

Conte said he would be in touch with the speakers of both houses to work out when to convene Parliament.

On Twitter, Salvini wrote that "those would waste time only want to save their seats (in parliament)", in an apparent reference to his governing coalition partner, the populist Five Star Movement. The EU's third-largest economy barely dodged an EU budget disciplinary process over its rising debt levels this year.

After Salvini's statement on a coalition crisis, Luigi Di Maio, the leader of MS5, said he was ready for snap elections, too.

Salvini on Friday urged legislators to abandon their summer holidays.

Earlier on August 8, the right-wing League issued a statement complaining of deadlock with the 5-Star Movement on a variety of issues, saying "it is useless to go on" adding that "the only alternative to this government" is for a new election.

Salvini, who effectively triggered the crisis on Thursday by declaring the ruling coalition unworkable, accused his critics of scheming to save their posts and keep him from power.

The two parties were fierce adversaries ahead of an inconclusive election in March 2018, before forming their unlikely alliance which has often ruffled the feathers of financial markets and the European Commission.

But the vote does not guarantee a general election, but it is likely if Mr Conte loses the no-confidence motion. The government this week passed a bill to fine NGO ships that pick up migrants in the Mediterranean and enter Italian waters up to 1 million euros. Preventing such ships from docking has been Salvini's hallmark as interior minister. I don't believe we will go to elections but I am still terrified by what comes next'.

But since then, 5-Star's poll numbers have plummeted, while the League's have soared - buoyed in part by Salvini's hard stance on illegal migration from Africa. After claiming just 17% of the vote in last year's national election, the league won 34% in European elections this spring.

Conte, who is not affiliated with either party, has accused Salvini of wanting an early vote to allow the League to profit from now favorable voter sentiment, with opinion polls showing the party as being likely to comfortably win any election in the coming months. Its support hovers at 17% now.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who had held separate talks with Salvini and the country's President Sergio Mattarella as the crisis deepened, said in a statement later that the interior minister doesn't summon parliament and "it's not up to him to dictate the steps of the political crisis".

Most of all, he took issue with suggestions that the government was in a stalemate.

"This government's only option is to let Italians have their say" by calling elections, it added.

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