Saturday, 24 August, 2019

Embattled Conte to address Italian Senate

Matteo Salvini has a good chance of becoming Italy's next prime minister
Credit
Alberto Pizzoli  AFP Matteo Salvini has a good chance of becoming Italy's next prime minister Credit Alberto Pizzoli AFP
Patty Aguilar | 14 August, 2019, 14:41

Salvini's dominant position in the polls means that he'll likely become Italy's next premier in case of an early vote, despite last-ditch efforts to create a coalition to block him.

Senators hastily summoned back from a vacation break convened for a vote on scheduling their consideration of a no-confidence motion lodged by Matteo Salvini's League party against Premier Giuseppe Conte's 14-month-old populist government.

The Italian senate has made a decision to hold a vote on prime minister Giuseppe Conte on 20 August after a day of confusion.

When Conte returns, he could face a vote of no confidence or may choose to resign. Add Forza Italia to the mix and Salvini might even get the two-thirds majority needed to amend the country's constitution.

Under worldwide law, the migrants should be taken to the closest safe port.

Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said on Wednesday the citizen's income scheme introduced earlier this year would need reviewing if the League won elections.

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"I am at work in the ministry this morning to prevent more than 500 migrants from disembarking from two NGO boats", Salvini wrote on Facebook on Tuesday, as reported by Reuters.

If Parliament is sent packing, elections must be held within 45 to 70 days, making Salvini's boast of "day after" balloting unrealistic. The political turmoil sparked by the League's challenge has rattled financial markets.

"What is more handsome, more democratic, more dignified than to give the choice back to the people", Salvini told the Senate in a speech that was constantly interrupted by shouting from other parties. An alliance with 5-Star risks deepening already bitter divisions within his party, which is now the parliament's largest opposition force. Just a year ago, the anti-establishment 5-Stars rebuffed the center-left Democrats in favor of the anti-migrant League, forging a coalition to bring Europe's first all-populist government into power.

"It would be a disaster for the country", said Renzi, who governed for the PD from 2014-2016. "If the country goes into recession, it's grave for everyone".

"We have the chance to turn the page", Renzi said, extending a hand to the Five Star Movement which had been governing with the League and could now potentially form a new administration with the PD.

Giada Zampano in Rome contributed.

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