Aug 8, 2019

Italy's Salvini calls for breakup of coalition and fresh elections

Salvini on the move. Photo: Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

Matteo Salvini, Italy’s interior minister, has today declared the governing coalition between his far-right League party and the anti-establishment Five Star movement unworkable and demanded fresh elections.

Between the lines: The latest spat with Five Star was over a train line between Italy and France, but the populist partnership has long been volatile.

  • Five Star won the most seats in last year’s election, but League has surpassed it in popularity and Salvini could cement his status as Italy’s most powerful man if the country goes to the polls again.
  • It’s unclear whether that will happen, particularly as Parliament is currently on recess. Either way, the League-Five Star marriage looks doomed.

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Italy's prime minister resigns amid coalition chaos

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (R), flanked by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

This is a summer of crises for Europe, with a political collision in Italy landing in the midst of Brexit chaos while the continent's top economies flirt with recession.

Driving the news: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Tuesday that he would submit his resignation amid tensions between the 2 populist parties that comprise his government coalition: the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League. He declared that the ruling coalition of 2 populist parties "ends here."

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 20, 2019

Italian parties agree to new coalition without far-right Salvini

Matteo Salvini. Photo: Marco Cantile/LightRocket via Getty Images

Italy's center-left Democratic Party and populist Five Star Movement said Wednesday they have agreed to form a coalition government, staving off new elections that appeared likely after the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte earlier this month, the BBC reports.

Why it matters: Matteo Salvini, the leader of the far-right League party and perhaps the most popular politician in Italy, withdrew his support on Aug. 8 from the unlikely coalition he had formed with Five Star after the 2018 election. Salvini hoped fresh elections might allow him to become prime minister. Instead, his gamble has expelled his party out of power. Conte has agreed to stay on as prime minister of the new coalition, per BBC.

Go deeper: Italy's history of political instability

Keep ReadingArrowAug 28, 2019

Disruption takes over the G7

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump has generally been outnumbered at summits like the G7 — the disrupter-in-chief in a room of more sober-minded leaders. This time around, disruption is the rule. 

Why it matters: French President Emmanuel Macron, who's hosting the summit this weekend in the seaside town of Biarritz, warned ahead of the gathering that twin threats to democracy and capitalism must be vanquished in order to ensure a free and prosperous future. For this weekend, though, he’d probably settle for anything short of disaster.

Go deeperArrowAug 24, 2019