Italy

Italian parties agree to new coalition without far-right Salvini

matteo 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

Political instability is nothing new for Italy

Data: Gleditsc and Chiozza, 2016, "Archigos — A Data Set on Leaders 1875–2015", Axios research; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Italy is used to changes at the top, so the resignation this week of Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte won't have come as a massive shock.

The big picture: Italy has shuffled through 17 prime ministers over the last 30 years, second only to Japan among G7 countries. With only 3 chancellors since 1982, Germany is on the other end of the spectrum — though Angela Merkel is expected to step aside by 2021.