Parliamentary coalition splits in Italy

Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who heads the small Italia Viva party, announced the resignation of two of his ministers from the government, effectively leaving the ruling coalition without a majority in parliament.

This is reported by Reuters.

His decision, announced at a press conference Wednesday night, plunges Italy into political chaos as the country struggles to contain the COVID-19 epidemic.

Renzi had long threatened to quit the government. He disagreed with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s plans on how to spend the billions of euros promised by the European Union on economic recovery.

Support for Italia Viva in parliament is crucial for the survival of the coalition, which is led by the Five Star Movement and the center-left Democratic Party.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he hoped Renzi would not withdraw his ministers from the government, warning that the country could not understand why the government fell apart amid the ongoing health crisis.

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