- Title: Italy wakes up to unexpected government crisis
- Date: 9th August 2019
- Summary: HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE NEAR PARLIAMENT VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING NEAR PARLIAMENT POLICEMEN STANDING NEAR ICE-CREAM SHOP PEOPLE WAITING AT BUS STOP (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ROME RESIDENT, MARCO MILANO, SAYING: "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. They managed to coexist for a while, but then Salvini realized that he had more supporters on his side than the 5-Star" (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ROME RESIDENT, ARIANNA VARRONE, SAYING: "The parties must get along to move forward. If they argue on every decision, if they don't get along, it is the right thing to do to interrupt their cooperation, hoping that things will get better." (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) PIZZA MAKER, ANTONIO BRANNO, SAYING: "The crisis has arrived. We hoped it wouldn't come, because despite the problems we face, (this government) had achieved a few things for us workers. They had done some concrete things, so it would have been right to go ahead (with this government) and see how it would have worked. They had promised they would lower taxes, we workers looked forward to it, because it would have helped us. Now that this government collapses, we may have to vote again. For now it is not clear, it is a confused situation." MEDIA IN FRONT OF GOVERNMENT HOUSE FLAGS ON GOVERNMENT HOUSE MEDIA IN FRONT OF GOVERNMENT HOUSE EXTERIOR OF GOVERNMENT HOUSE
- 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: LVA005ARHY5AF
- 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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