The Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (pictured) announced his resignation to the Senate on August 20. In his speech in presence of both political leaders Luigi Di Mayo (M5S) and Matteo Salvini (Lega) he has vigorously criticized the latter for creating the governmental crisis, blaming him for being “irresponsible and opportunist”, pointing at a “grave lack of constitutional culture” in triggering a government crisis solely to harvest the growing polls numbers.
Premier Giuseppe Conte said the government’s action “stops here” and added he would go to the President Sergio Mattarella to present his resignation letter.
The timing of the crisis, he went on, showed Salvini’s “political opportunism” and was a “gesture of institutional imprudence” – prompting the opponent to respond: “I would do it all again“.
The Lega “drumming” about new elections was “offensive for the activity of the government,” Conte went on, attacking Salvini, blaming him a selection of “a pretext for the crisis” in the 5-Star Movement’s (5SM) opposition to a Turin-Lyon high-speed railroad after the Lega scored highly in the recent European elections, when
Salvini was “concerning” in his conception of managing power by “rabble-rousing” people in the streets.
Conte also said Italy’s Constitution precluded “authoritarian methods“, referring to Salvini’s controversial call for the people to grant him “full powers” in a snap elections.
In Europe, he said, Salvini‘s “contradictory” views had sparked “confusion“, caused by absence of “sense of the rules” Conte continued. He underlined that he should have addressed parliament on a case of the Lega party allegedly seeking Russian funding.
Conte also criticised Salvini for brandishing rosaries and other religious symbols while announcing policy of crackdown on migrants.
“Your use of religious symbols is unconscionable“, PM said.
…”The ongoing (government) crisis compromises the action of this government, which stops here”. Conte said he would hand in his resignation to Mattarella, who would “guide the country in a delicate passage“.
In further remarks, Conte said the government crisis makes Italy weak in negotiations with the EU over new commissioners and other issues. He also said an emergency management of the budget is “highly likely” given the timing of the crisis.
“Today in the Senate from the President of the council (PM) I have heard no ideas, but only insults. It is evident that there has been an attempt to break up between Five Star Movement and Democratic Party for weeks. Lega had the strength, dignity and courage to unmask it in parliament and explain it clearly to the Italians” Matteo Salvini commented on the speech of Conte.