/Italian PM to quit after fierce attack on Salvini

Italian PM to quit after fierce attack on Salvini

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Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte addresses the Senate flanked by Matteo Salvini (L) and Luigi Di MaioImage copyright
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Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte addresses the Senate flanked by Matteo Salvini (L) and Luigi Di Maio

After a blistering attack on coalition partner Matteo Salvini, Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said he will offer his resignation.

Mr Conte said Mr Salvini had been “irresponsible” in creating a new political crisis for Italy for “personal and party interests”.

Mr Salvini, the leader of the nationalist League party, had tabled a no-confidence motion against Mr Conte.

He also said he could no longer work with his coalition partners Five Star.

The League and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement formed a coalition to govern just 14 months ago with Mr Conte as an independent as prime minister.

Addressing the Senate on Tuesday, Mr Conte said the League leader, who was sitting beside him, had been “looking for a pretext to return to the polls” since his party’s success in European elections in May.

In those elections, the League came top with 34% of the votes in Italy, whereas Five Star got about 17%.

Mr Conte also warned that Mr Salvini had undermined the function of the government, “which stops here”.

“I take this opportunity to announce that I will present my resignation as head of government to the president of the republic,” he said.

In a Facebook post ahead of Mr Conte’s address, Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio said it was an “the day when the League will have to answer for its faults for having decided to bring everything down, opening a government crisis in the middle of August”.

He added that working with Mr Conte “was an honour”.

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