Salvini claims he doesn’t want coalition to fall

Salvini claims he doesn’t want coalition to fall

Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, the leader of the anti-migrant Lega party, says he has no intention of bringing down the coalition government.  

Disagreements between the Lega and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), have been brewing for months, prompting Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to threaten to step down unless the squabbling stopped. 

Conte urged the warring parties to set their disagreements aside and concentrate on their reform programmes. 

The European Commission is expected to begin eurozone disciplinary procedures against Italy today (Wednesday) over its failure to cut its public debt.

Conte said the government would have to respect the eurozone’s fiscal rules until it successfully changes them, which in effect told Salvini that he could not afford the spending splurges he promised voters during the 2018 general election campaign. 

“I, therefore, call on both political forces and, in particular, on their leaders, who also play a key role in the governance structure, to make a clear choice to tell me and tell us whether they intend to continue in the spirit of the [coalition] contract, drawn up with the aim of achieving its contents,” he said in a televised address.  

Salvini responded that he wanted to accelerate action in Italy’s 66th government since the Second World War. 

Salvini and Five-Star boss Luigi Di Maio have since spoken by telephone for the first time in weeks in an apparent attempt to resolve differences.

The parties have disagreed over policies and election pledges as the Lega has doubled its support on the back of Salvini’s anti-migrant policies. 

Salvini claimed the European parliamentary election showed Italians wanted to break with EU’s rules.

“If I realise after a couple of weeks that we are still saying the same things, with the same delays and the same postponements, then we would have a problem,” Salvini told RTL radio.

In late May’s European election, the Lega won 29 seats, compared to just 14 for the Five Star Movement. Five-Star has lost half its electoral support in barely a year. 

Salvini is now hotly tipped to become the next prime minister.

Salvini is demanding that Italy ignore European Union deficit and debt rules as he seeks resources to pay for ambitious tax cut plans.

JP Morgan predicted that the government would fall at the end of July, with an early general election in late September. Conte’s statement was a “clear demonstration of the extreme fragility of the government at this stage”, the firm argued. 


Italy’s creaking infrastructure is in need of state investment. Picture credit: Wikimedia 



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