ROME — Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Wednesday withdrew his party from Italy’s coalition government, plunging the country into political chaos.
Renzi, whose Italia Viva party is a junior partner in a coalition with the 5Star Movement and the Democrats, has been threatening to pull support for Giuseppe Conte’s government for days over proposals for Italy’s post-pandemic economic recovery plan.
He announced the resignation of ministers Teresa Bellanova and Elena Bonetti, who have responsibility for agriculture and families respectively, and the undersecretary for foreign affairs Ivan Scalfarotto at a press conference.
Renzi said it “took courage” to walk away from a ministerial seat, adding: “We are experiencing a great crisis, the pandemic, and faced with such a crisis the responsibility is to resolve problems not to hide them.”
He criticized Conte’s method of governing with emergency decrees and his habit of communicating via social media, and repeated demands that Italy’s economic recovery plan make use of funds from the EU’s European Stability Mechanism. That is a red line for the 5Star Movement, the largest party in the coalition, for whom dismantling the ESM is a core policy dating back to its Euroskeptic origins.
Renzi’s move effectively removes the government’s ruling majority in parliament, and puts it on the brink of collapse.
However, Renzi denied responsibility for the political crisis, saying it had been going on “for months” because of a lack of quality in the government.
He insisted that it was “up to Conte” to resolve the crisis, but indicated that his party could work with the other coalition partners again if there was a stronger government program in place.
Elections were not necessary, Renzi said, adding: “There are the conditions in parliament to carry on.”
Renzi’s decision is likely to be unpopular with colleagues and difficult for many Italians to fathom. Half do not understand the reasons behind the crisis, according to a poll by Ipsos for La7, and seven out of 10 believe Renzi is acting in his personal interest.
Deputy leader of the Democrats Andrea Orlando wrote on Twitter that Renzi’s move was “a serious mistake by a few that we will all pay for.”
Source: POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/matteo-renzi-italia-viva-triggers-government-crisis-coronavirus-recovery-plan-giuseppe-conte/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication