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Senate Comes Back from Vacation for No-confidence Vote on Govt

Senate Comes Back from Vacation for No-confidence Vote on Govt”

The situation in Italy is that the nation's political groups have been failing to reach agreement on when to hold a vote of no confidence, amid a government crisis triggered by nationalist leader Matteo Salvini. Italy's political leaders scrambled to line up allies and form alliances Tuesday as the country's right-wing interior minister pressed his demands for an early election in the hope of snagging the premiership as a platform for his anti-migrant, euroskeptic agenda.

The Italian senate has opted to summon the prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, to parliament on 20 August to respond to the crisis facing his government after one of the coalition's members withdrew its support.

Salvini had wanted a vote on Conte as early as Wednesday and for elections to follow in October to capitalise on opinion polls suggesting the League could garner 36-38 percent of votes.

Former Democratic Party (PD) leader Renzi said "I decided to make an appeal to the political forces which has the possibility of being met today".

While the government is still in place, the Senate decides whether to initiate a no-confidence vote in the 14-month-old administration of Conte, an independent approved by deputy prime ministers Salvini and M5S leader Luigi Di Maio previous year.

He kicked off Tuesday's debate with a stunning U-turn, offering to back a key parliamentary reform of the M5S, after saying last week that he could no longer work with them.

Those parties could not provide the support Salvini needs in the Senate, however. Add Forza Italia to the mix and Salvini might even get the two-thirds majority needed to amend the country's constitution. The government in place will have to find about 23 billion euro ($25.8 billion) in financial resources to avoid a planned sales tax hike, which would prove highly unpopular with voters and weigh on the electoral campaign.

The 5-Star Movement chose Conte to be premier after a 2018 election and is weighing whether to ally now with the opposition Democratic Party.

The League and M5S have governed together for a little more than a year.

"It would be a disaster for the country", said Renzi, who governed for the PD from 2014-2016.

"Italy would certainly go into recession".

"We have the chance to turn the page", Renzi said, extending a hand to the Five Star Movement which had been governing with the League and could now potentially form a new administration with the PD.



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