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Italy PM quits, slams deputy

Conte accused League party chief Salvini of seeking to cash in on his popularity

By Reuters in Rome

  • Published 21.08.19, 2:22 AM
  • Updated 21.08.19, 2:22 AM
Giuseppe Conte (left) listens to Luigi Di Maio at the end of his address to the Senate, in Rome, on August 20, 2019.
Giuseppe Conte (left) listens to Luigi Di Maio at the end of his address to the Senate, in Rome, on August 20, 2019. (AP)

 Italy’s Prime Minister announced his resignation on Tuesday as he made a blistering attack on his own interior minister and deputy Premier, Matteo Salvini, accusing him of sinking the ruling coalition.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, addressing parliament after it was recalled from its summer recess to decide the future of the 14-month-old government, accused League party chief Salvini of seeking to cash in on his popularity.

“(Salvini) has shown that he is following his own interests and those of his party,” Conte told a packed Senate, a stony-faced Salvini sitting by his side. “His decisions pose serious risks for this country.”

He described the actions of Salvini, who declared the coalition unworkable 12 days ago and called for snap elections, as recklessness “liable to tip the country into a spiral of political uncertainty and financial instability”.

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