- The shock announcement follows a period of intense public feuding between the right-wing League and its coalition partner, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, and it throws the euro zone’s third-largest economy into deeper political uncertainty.
Salvini said in a statement he had told Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who belongs to neither coalition party, that the alliance with 5-Star had collapsed after barely a year in power and “we should quickly give the choice back to the voters”.
Parliament, which is now in its summer recess, could reconvene next week to carry out the necessary steps, Salvini said, referring to the need for a no-confidence vote in the government and the resignation of the premier.
Conte said later in a brief televised statement that Salvini must explain to Italians why he wanted to bring down the government and that “the crisis he has unleashed” should be the most transparent “in the history of the republic”.
Conte said he would no longer accept Salvini’s attacks on his ministers and accused him of relying on “slogans”.
Until a few weeks ago Salvini had repeatedly said that the government would last a full five-year term, but he brushed off Conte’s criticisms and said 5-Star was holding up the policies the country needed to boost its stagnant economy.
“Italy can no longer put up with the no’s, we need yes’s, we need to unblock, to build, to work — enough is enough, we must go to elections,” he told reporters after a rally in Pescara, on the Adriatic coast.