Published: Wed, August 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Italy has offered to form a government without Salvini

Italy has offered to form a government without Salvini

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 Senate rejected the motion to be debated on Wednesday, voting instead to have Conte face the upper chamber on August 20.

Di Maio said in a Facebook video Monday that Salvini's efforts to bring down the government are absurd and called for Salvini and other League ministers to resign.

Italy's political leaders scrambled to line up allies and form alliances Tuesday as the country's right-wing interior minister pressed his demands for an early election in hopes of snagging the premiership as a platform for his anti-migrant, euroskeptic agenda. Mr Salvini pulled the plug on his populist coalition and now wants an urgent confidence vote and elections.

Depending on the outcome of the no-confidence votes in the Senate and the House, the president could still try to guide the creation of a transition government, headed by Conte or someone else, to handle the budget law and lead Italy to a new election that could be as late as next year.

Salvini told reporters that the election could still be held in October regardless of whether the 5-Star reform was approved by parliament.

Those parties could not provide the support Salvini needs in the Senate, however.

"What is more handsome, more democratic, more dignified than to give the choice back to the people", Salvini told the Senate in a speech constantly interrupted by shouting and heckling from other parties. The government in place will have to find about 23 billion euro ($25.8 billion) in financial resources to avoid a planned sales tax hike, which would prove highly unpopular with voters and weigh on the electoral campaign.

Snap elections called for by far-right leader Matteo Salvini would plunge Italy into recession, former Democratic Party (PD) premier Matteo Renzi warned Tuesday, calling instead for a transitional government.

Renzi said he's willing to take that risk.

"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. "If the country goes into recession, it's grave for everyone".

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