The dispute in the governing coalition over Corona policy has escalated: Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has withdrawn two ministers. This means that there is no longer a majority for Conte in parliament.
In the middle of the Corona crisis, the government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Italy burst. The head of the co-ruling party Italia Viva, Matteo Renzi, announced on Wednesday the resignation of the two ministers appointed by his party. These are Agriculture Minister Teresa Bellanova and Family Minister Elena Bonetti. In addition, the State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ivan Scalfarotto, will resign.
What caused the government to collapse can be seen in the video or above here.
With the departure of Renzi’s small party Italia Viva, the entire center-left government with its narrow majority in parliament is on the brink. Ex-Prime Minister Renzi made sharp accusations in front of the press. He deals with democratic rules with many measures in the fight against the corona pandemic.
The crisis has been going on for months, said Renzi. Italia Viva is not its originator. “We don’t play with the institutions,” assured the 46-year-old politician. At the same time, he made offers to negotiate how to proceed. Renzi said he was not counting on quick new elections.
The differences between Renzi and Conte recently revolved around the plans to use the EU billion aid for the Corona crisis. The independent Prime Minister, who is close to the five stars, had his draft for the use of the billions from the EU reconstruction fund approved in the cabinet on Wednesday night against the resistance of Ministers Bellanova and Bonetti. Both politicians reportedly demanded at the meeting that Rome should apply for funds from the European rescue fund ESM. Conte refused again and again.
Government needed more votes
The 56-year-old lawyer said he had already spoken to President Sergio Mattarella about the government crisis on Wednesday. The center-left alliance has been in power since September 2019. Should Premier Conte or the entire government overthrow, the head of state would have an important role in deciding how to proceed.
Renzi’s party may be tiny, but the government had to rely on its votes several times in parliament – especially in the Senate, the smaller of the two chambers.
Italian media suspected that Conte would like to avoid new elections. He could ask the vote of confidence in parliament and try to find other majorities. The head of government himself said on Wednesday that he needed “a solid majority” for his government. Parliamentary elections in Italy are not expected until 2023.
In Conte’s alliance, the populist five-star movement and the Social Democrats (PD) are the great forces. In addition, there are the two small parties Italia Viva and Liberi e Uguali (The Free and Equals). Renzi had only founded his party in 2019 after leaving the PD, of which he was head from 2013 to 2018.
The prime minister called a cabinet meeting late Wednesday evening.