140th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra53560136843518306 Tamil Nadu3086492506805159 Andhra Pradesh2445491547492203 Karnataka1886111055993398 Delhi1461341316574131 Uttar Pradesh126722767212120 West Bengal98459671202059 Bihar8274154139450 Telangana8075157586637 Gujarat71064542382652 Assam5883842326145 Rajasthan5249738235789 Odisha4592731785321 Haryana4163534781483 Madhya Pradesh3902529020996 Kerala3433121832109 Jammu and Kashmir2489717003472 Punjab2390315319586 Jharkhand185168998177 Chhatisgarh12148880996 Uttarakhand96326134125 Goa871259575 Tripura6161417641 Puducherry5382320187 Manipur3752204411 Himachal Pradesh3371218114 Nagaland30119738 Arunachal Pradesh223115923 Chandigarh1595100425 Meghalaya11154986 Sikkim9105101 Mizoram6203230
World Neighbours 22 Aug 2019 Italy’s presid ...

Italy’s president to hold talks aiming to solve political crisis

AFP
Published Aug 22, 2019, 10:19 am IST
Updated Aug 22, 2019, 10:19 am IST
Second day of Italy crisis talks after PM resigns.
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini tried to force a snap election. (Photo: AFP)
 Interior Minister Matteo Salvini tried to force a snap election. (Photo: AFP)

Rome: Italy's president will hold a second day of talks aimed at solving the political crisis shaking the country on Thursday after the disintegration of the populist government. President Sergio Mattarella will meet the main parties, including the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and far-right League, after the breakdown of their dysfunctional coalition.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned on Tuesday after months of alliance sniping and a bid by League leader and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini to force a snap election, just 14 months since coming to power.

 

The nationalist, populist government's demonisation of migrants, promoted by Salvini in particular, and attempts to flout EU budget rules had angered many European leaders. Mattarella met the leaders of both houses of parliament on Wednesday and has been trying to find a way forward.

The formation of a new coalition, a short-term technocratic government or an early election -- more than three years ahead of schedule -- is the main options. A proposed alliance between M5S and opposition centre-left Democratic Party (PD) – previously almost unthinkable -- appears to be gaining traction, with PD leader Nicola Zingaretti saying he is ready to make a deal.

 

The PD and M5S have been at each other's throats for years -- but an alliance would see Salvini kicked out of government, a powerful motive for compromise. Zingaretti has said the party would back an M5S coalition dependent on five conditions, including a radical shift in Italy's zero-tolerance policy on migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

He later told "La 7" television he was also against the idea of Conte staying on as prime minister. M5S would like Conte to remain in place but did not give much away, saying it would "wait for the end of consultations".

 

In a bid to get a PD-M5S alliance off the ground, former PD premier Matteo Renzi has said he will not participate. Many in the anti-establishment party view him as elitist.

Salvini, who is also deputy prime minister, on Wednesday, mocked his former coalition allies, saying: "In a week they have gone from the League to Renzi." He added: "No matter which government emerges, its goals will be against the League."

The end of the unstable coalition government in the eurozone's third-largest economy has so far been welcomed by the markets, with a sharp rise in the Milan stock market on Wednesday.

 

The country's debt ratio -- 132 per cent of gross domestic product -- is the second-biggest in the eurozone after Greece, and youth unemployment is currently above 30 per cent. Governments have consistently struggled to bring down debt levels and unemployment.

"Italy's disharmonious political backdrop and the country's budgetary challenges extend well before the sovereign debt crisis," said Rabobank analyst Jane Foley. Rome needs to approve a budget in the next few months or potentially face an automatic rise in value-added tax that would hit the least well-off Italian families the hardest and likely plunge the country into recession.

 

"(The crisis) arrives at a critical juncture for Europe amid the risk of recession in Germany and the formation of the new European Commission, and could contribute to deteriorating significantly the confidence on the eurozone," said Andrea Montanino, chief economist at the General Confederation of Italian Industry.

After last year's election, it took months of wrangling before a government was formed. Mattarella has made it clear he wants talks to conclude quickly but splits within the PD and M5S, as well as sharp policy differences, could complicate coalition efforts.

 

A PD-M5S tie-up would realistically also need support from smaller parties to be an effective government.

...




ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT