Italian Prime Minister’s Resignation Leads to Government Collapse

Italy’s PM Giuseppe Conte resigned on Tuesday, after a fierce attack on coalition partner Matteo Salvini, as an “opportunist” for triggering a government crisis that could have “serious consequences” for Italy.
Addressing the Senate, Mr. Conte blasted Matteo Salvini for setting in motion a “dizzying spiral of political and financial instability” by essentially pulling the plug on the government.
Mr. Conte said Mr. Salvini had been “irresponsible” in creating a new political crisis for Italy for “personal and party interests”.
Mr. Salvini’s right-wing League party sought a no-confidence vote against Mr. Conte earlier this month, a stunningly bold move for the government’s junior coalition partner.
Mr. Conte blamed the collapse of his government on his anti-migrant interior minister, who triggered a political crisis to try to force early elections.
Mr. Salvini, who sat next to Mr. Conte during his speech, repeatedly kissed a rosary he slipped out of his pocket right after Mr. Conte rebuked him for associating “political slogans with religious symbols”.
Pressing for elections as soon as possible, Mr. Salvini said: “I don’t fear Italians’ judgment.”
President Mattarella – who is head of state – has said he will hold talks with the constantly clashing coalition government about Italy’s future, including exploring options that may involve forming a coalition that has the support of a new majority in parliament.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella has asked Giuseppe Conte to stay on as a caretaker leader, following the Prime Minister’s resignation.
If the collaboration proves impossible, the president will dissolve parliament and call for an early election, which could happen as early as October.
>Juthy Saha