Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte yesterday said he would resign, lashing out at far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini for pursuing his own interests by pulling the plug on the government coalition.
“I’m ending this government experience here... I will go to the president of the republic (Sergio Mattarella) to inform him of my resignation”, after a Senate debate, Conte said after an almost hour-long speech to the chamber.
“It is irresponsible to initiate a government crisis,” Conte said after Salvini began his efforts to bring down the government in the hope of snap elections he hoped would make him premier.
“It shows personal and party interests,” Conte said of the end of the alliance between the anti-migrant League and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement.
Conte was speaking following a week of fallout from Salvini’s decision to back out of the alliance on August 8, plunging the eurozone’s third-largest economy into political turmoil.
Afer Conte announced his intention to resign, Salvini hit back saying: “Thank you, finally, I would do it all again.”
Salvini “violated the solemn promise he took when the government began that if there were differences they should be discussed in good faith and with loyal collaboration,” Conte said as League senators booed and hissed.
“Making citizens vote is the essence of democracy, asking them to vote every year is irresponsible,” Conte added.
The likely end of the 14-month-old government would open the way for Mattarella to begin consultations with political parties, with a range of options available.
A snap election, the forming of a new coalition without holding a new vote and, although unlikely, the continuation of the current government, would all be considered. Salvini’s plan for a snap election -- more than three years early -- had envisioned a vote in October followed by him being crowned as prime minister.