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Italian PM resigns and seeks to form new government

ITALIAN Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told his cabinet today that he was resigning, just a week after he survived two confidence votes over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. 

He met President Sergio Mattarella, who asked him to form a new coalition government after losing his parliamentary majority last week.

Mr Conte’s resignation came after former prime minister Matteo Renzi pulled his Italia Viva party out of the coalition in protest at the prime minister’s plans to spend €209 billion (£186bn) of European Union recovery funds, part of a €750bn (£665bn) EU rescue package to counter the effects of the the Covid crisis. 

Mr Renzi believes that the EU cash should be used in other areas, including digital and green technologies, and also objects to proposals for technocrats, rather than MPs, to manage the crisis.

The current coalition of the Five-Star Movement, the Democratic Party and the Leu Party hopes to form a new administration, while the far-right League and the Brothers of Italy want to force early elections.

Democratic Party leader Nicola Zingaretti called for the formation of a “European-centric government supported by an ample parliamentary base that will guarantee credibility and stability to confront the challeges ahead.”

Negotiations on the new administration are due to take place tomorrow. 

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