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Italian PM Giuseppe Conte under threat as tensions with ally escalate

Ex-Premier Matteo Renzi's centrist Italy Alive party could pull its two ministers before or after a cabinet meeting called for 9:30 p.m

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Italy | Europe

Bloomberg 

Italy has the world's largest outbreak of the coronavirus after China.
Renzi has long criticised Conte’s plans for overseeing and spending Italy’s estimated 196 billion-euro ($238-billion) share of the European Union’s recovery fund

Escalating tensions are threatening to shatter the government of Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte as early as Tuesday, with a junior ally weighing whether to dump the coalition despite the coronavirus emergency.

Ex-Premier Matteo Renzi’s centrist Alive party could pull its two ministers before or after a cabinet meeting called for 9:30 p.m., according to officials who asked not to be named discussing private conversations.

Renzi has long criticised Conte’s plans for overseeing and spending Italy’s estimated 196 billion-euro ($238-billion) share of the European Union’s recovery fund, which is up for cabinet approval, and has accused the premier of grabbing more power during the pandemic. If Renzi’s party, which has just 3 per cent support in opinion polls, abandons the alliance, it would rob Conte of a parliamentary majority and could trigger a reshuffle, a third Conte government, a similar coalition with a new premier, a broad alliance headed by a figure such as ex-European Central Bank head Mario Draghi, or early elections.

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First Published: Wed, January 13 2021. 02:03 IST
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