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Italian prime minister steps down

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 8/21/19, 01:11 pm

Turmoil in the Italian government reached a new pitch Tuesday when Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned. He will remain in office as President Sergio Mattarella holds discussions on forming a new government. If the talks fail, Mattarella will dissolve Parliament and call for an early vote.

What prompted the upheaval? Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s League party and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement have mostly been at odds since jointly assuming the country’s leadership 14 months ago. The coalition chose Conte, an independent, as prime minister as a compromise. He and Salvini clashed frequently over immigration and cooperation with Europe, both of which Salvini opposes. This week, the last of 145 migrants disembarked a rescue vessel after Salvini prevented it from docking at the Italian island of Lampedusa for 19 days. The final contention between the two parties came over their disagreement on a multibillion-euro train link project with France.

Dig deeper: Read Vox’s breakdown on what the latest developments would mean for Italian politics.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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