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Italy’s right-wing rails against coalition plans amid political crisis

The country's government crisis was ignited by far-right leader Matteo Salvini's call for new elections

President of the Fratelli d'Italia Giorgia Meloni addresses the media after a meeting with Italian President Mattarella EPA 
President of the Fratelli d'Italia Giorgia Meloni addresses the media after a meeting with Italian President Mattarella EPA 

Italy’s right-wing parties have criticised their rivals’ plans as they scramble to form a centre-left coalition and attempt to block fresh elections.

As the leaders of Italy’s different political blocs meet with the country’s president Sergio Mattarella following the resignation of prime minister Giuseppe Conte earlier this week, the country’s far-right have accused the country’s centre left Democratic Party (PD) and Five Star Movement (M5S) of ignoring the desires of the electorate.

Both the centre left PD and the populist, anti-establishment M5S outperformed the country’s far-right, anti-immigrant League party in Italy’s 2018 elections. In the intervening 18 months, however, Lega, led by deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, has been in the ascendancy.

All of Mr Salvini’s recent political manoeuvring, including his decision to self-destruct the populist coalition between League and M5S at the beginning of August, has been based on the calculation that his party would emerge as the most powerful party in fresh elections.

As such League has found itself courted by both the centre-right party Fortza Italia, led by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, and Fratelli d’Italia (FDI), an extreme right-wing party that has openly praised Italy’s wartime fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

"The elections are today the only possible outcome, respectful of Italy, its interests, its people and the constitution," FDI leader Giorgia Meloni said on Thursday according to the Italian news agency ANSA. "We say no to a government that has a majority in Parliament but not among citizens. It would be disrespectful of the popular will and our democracy," she added.

At the same time Nicola Zingaretti, the leader of the PD, said he had informed Mr Mattarella of his party’s inclination to form a new government. “A breakthrough government is needed, alternative to the right, with a new, solid program, a broad parliamentary base which will give hope to the Italians,” Mr Zingaretti said.

“If these conditions do not exist, all to be verified, the natural outcome of the crisis is new early elections,” he added.

Updated: August 22, 2019 05:01 PM



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