Italy’s parties pitch for allies ahead of key vote

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 14, 2019

The Senate must now return from its summer break and vote on a date for the no-confidence vote in a session starting at 6 pm (1600 GMT).

The situation in Italy is that the nation's political groups have been failing to reach agreement on when to hold a vote of no confidence, amid a government crisis triggered by nationalist leader Matteo Salvini.

In exchange, the anti-establishment M5S was supposed to back his call for swift elections despite the League's withdrawal from the increasingly acrimonious alliance.

The League, FI and FdI have all asked for the Conte no-confidence motion to be voted on Wednesday. Party secretary Nicola Zingaretti issued a call for unity Monday, reiterating that the key decision on whether and when to call an early election is in the hands of President Sergio Mattarella. "Next week we cut 345 parliamentarians", Di Maio said on Facebook.

The M5S, PD and other parties have been holding talks on a transitional government to pass the parliamentary reform and next year's budget to avoid an automatic rise in value-added tax that would hit the least well-off the hardest. "And above all, true friends are always loyal", Di Maio said.

The 5-Star Movement, who are senior coalition partners and who chose Mr. Conte to be premier after 2018 elections, is weighing whether to ally with opposition Democrats.

In May's European Parliament elections, the League won 34 percent of the vote, twice that of the M5S.

PD sources said that they think that around 159 lawmakers would be willing to vote for the slower schedule on Tuesday, with an expected 136 people to side with the League's push for a snap election, generated by allies in the centre right, including Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (FI) and the rightwing Brothers of Italy (FdI) party.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the chamber of deputies Roberto Fico, a member of the "Movement 5 stars", to which "League" of disagreement, stated that Salvini by law has no powers to dissolve Parliament.

A tie-up between the Democrats and Five Star is unlikely given that the two have traded insults and have been at odds on nearly every major issue for years. Fines of up to one million euros ($1.1m) and the impounding of the boat are also possible under the new law.

Those parties could not provide the support Salvini needs in the Senate, however.

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