Conte announced his resignation on Tuesday, less than two weeks after Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini’s call for fresh elections. Speaking to members of the Italian Senate, he blasted Salvini as a “reckless” political opportunist whose maneuverings will have “major consequences on the country and its economy.”
“[Salvini] has shown that he is following his own interests and those of his party,” Conte added. “His decisions pose serious risks for this country.”On Aug. 8, Salvini announced he would decouple his right-wing Lega party from coalition partner the Five Star Movement (M5S), a leftist faction whose popularity among Italian voters is waning.
The move is seen as a high-stakes gamble to expand Lega’s power base.
Owing largely to Salvini’s staunch opposition to mass migration, the party is surging in popularity. Currently, Lega enjoys a commanding lead over its rivals, with 38% of the Italian electorate backing it. If the party were able to cross the 40% threshold in a new round of elections, it would be free to govern without a coalition partner and Salvini would be crowned prime minister. …..
Salvini, seated next to Conte, responded by kissing his Rosary.