Infighting within Italy’s ruling coalition has led to the resignation of the country’s prime minister, barely a year into his term.
The Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte on Wednesday tendered his resignation letter to the country’s President, Matteo Salvini after his populist government lost the support of a key coalition member.
In a speech announcing he would resign, Conte launched a fierce attack on Mr. Salvini who is a former Prime Minister as well as an erstwhile Interior Minister, accusing him of trying to ruin the ruling coalition for personal and political gain.
Earlier this month, Salvini pulled the plug on his party’s alliance with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement after months of bickering over key policies.
Conte, who was barely a year into his term told a packed Senate that Salvini had shown that he was following his own interests and those of his party and that ‘his decisions pose serious risks for this country’.
Describing Salvini’s actions as serious institutional recklessness, Conte said the President’s actions showed total disrespect for the country’s parliament and can ‘tip the country into a spiral of political uncertainty and financial instability’.
Salvini was sitting next to Conte while he made his speech and he constantly shook his head and rolled his eyes while the outgoing Prime Minister criticized his actions.
Responding to Conte’s accusations, Salvini said his goal was to challenge the European Union’s fiscal rules which he has blamed for making Italy poorer.