Italian PM Conte resigns

Rome, Jan 26 (efe-epa).- Giuseppe Conte has handed in his resignation as prime minister of Italy in a tactical move that could see him asked to form another government.

President Sergio Mattarella will now begin a round of discussions with the main political party leaders in Italy to see who could form a functioning government.

Conte, who fronted the coalition government comprising the anti-globalization Five Star Movement, the center-left Democratic Party and the left-wing Free and Equal party, decided to resign when he found himself weakened by the decision of former PM Matteo Renzi to pull the support of his small Italia Viva party.

It meant Conte would have a slim, wobbly majority to pass legislation in Parliament. He will stay on as caretaker until a new government is formed.

The remaining coalition members reiterated their support for Conte.

Conte survived votes of confidence in both parliamentary chambers last week.

Italian opposition parties, dominated by Matteo Salvini’s right-wing League party, are calling for fresh elections.

The political turmoil comes as Italy tries to navigate the socio-economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The country was the first in Europe to enforce a lockdown last year and a fresh surge in cases in the lead-up to Christmas prompted further emergency measures. EFE-EPA


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