- Title: Italy wakes up to unexpected government crisis
- Date: 9th August 2019
- Summary: ROME, ITALY (AUGUST 9, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF CLOSED PARLIAMENT ITALIAN MILITARY CARABINIERI POLICE OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT EXTERIOR OF CLOSED PARLIAMENT VARIOUS OF ITALIAN MILITARY CARABINIERI POLICE OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT VARIOUS CLOSED PARLIAMENT
- Embargoed: 23rd August 2019 09:36
- Keywords: Matteo Salvini Giuseppe Conte Italian government government crisis 5 Star Movement Italy Rome Politics
- Location: ROME, ITALY
- City: ROME, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001ARHY5AF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Italians voiced their doubts on Friday (August 9) after the leader of Italy's ruling League party, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, declared the governing coalition is unworkable on Thursday (August 8) and said the only way forward was to hold fresh elections.
The shock announcement follows a period of intense public feuding between the right-wing League and its coalition partner, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, and it throws Italy into deeper political uncertainty.
"The crisis has arrived. We hoped it wouldn't come, because despite the problems we face, a few things for workers have been done (by this government)" pizza maker Antonio Branno said to Reuters. "Now that this government collapses, we may have to vote again. For now it is not clear, it is a confused situation", Branno added.
Parliament, which is now in its summer recess, could reconvene next week to carry out the necessary steps, Salvini said, referring to the need for a no-confidence vote in the government and the resignation of the premier.
Some Italians were not surprised by the latest developments.
"I think that Salvini and Di Maio got together after so many years of alternating governments, and therefore represented an alternative. But their differences were clear. They were a dog and a cat that joined together", Rome resident Marco Milano said.
Tensions came to a head on Wednesday (August 7) when 5-Star and the League voted against each other in parliament over the future of a project for a high-speed train link with France.
5-Star has more parliamentary seats than the League, but Salvini's party now has twice as much voter support, according to opinion polls, and it has recently threatened to try to capitalize on that surge in popularity with new elections.
However, it remains to be seen if things will go as Salvini plans. Pushing the nation back into election mode in August, when Italians are on holiday and parliament is closed for the summer recess, is unusual and could be unpopular and risky.
(Production: Carmelo Camilli, Antonio Denti, Oriana Boselli)
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