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https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/04/italy-in-crisis-amid-political-fights-threats-and-instability.html

Italy faces ‘momentous moment’ amid political fights, threats and instability
Published Tue, Jun 4 2019 5:13 AM EDTUpdated Tue, Jun 4 2019 5:59 AM EDT
Holly Ellyatt
@HollyEllyatt
   

ROME, ITALY - NOVEMBER 29: The Vice President of the Council and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini attends the television show ‘L’aria che tira’.
Simona Granati - Corbis | Corbis News | Getty Images
   
   
Key Points

    Tensions between Lega and its coalition partner, the Five Star Movement (M5S), have been brewing for months.
    Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte threatened to step down Monday.
    Conte urged the M5S and Lega party to accelerate their reform program.


Italy appears to have lurched further into another political crisis with gusto although Matteo Salvini, the leader of the increasingly powerful Lega party, is insisting that he has no intention of bringing down the government.

Tensions between Lega and its coalition partner, the Five Star Movement (M5S), have been brewing for months and on Monday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte threatened to step down if the two parties in his coalition government don’t stop arguing.

At a press conference Monday, Conte urged the M5S and Lega party to set their differences aside and accelerate their reform program.

He also asked the two parties, which have experienced increasing tensions over policy since they formed a coalition in May 2018, to make a clear decision on the way forward.

“I therefore call on both political forces and, in particular, on their respective leaders, who also play a key role in the governance structure, to make a clear choice to tell me and tell us whether they intend to continue in the spirit of the (government) contract, drawn up with the aim of achieving its contents,” he said in a live broadcast on Italian TV.

On Tuesday morning however, Matteo Salvini said he had no intention of bringing down the government and that he wanted it to accelerate its action, Reuters reported. He said he was ready to meet government partners whenever.

Italy’s current political instability comes after months of rising tensions between the governing partners which formed a coalition government in May 2018 after an inconclusive election. Both Salvini and Luigi Di Maio, the head of the M5S, chose Conte as prime minister to lead Italy’s 66th government since World War II.

The leaders have disagreed over various policies and election pledges, however, and while Lega was initially seen as the junior partner in the alliance, party leader Matteo Salvini has become more prominent and forthright. His party, which started as a secessionist northern party, has also seen wider regional election success in the last year and in the European Parliament elections in late May the party won 29 seats, compared to M5S’ 14 seats.
VIDEO02:49
Snap election in Italy could be winning step for Salvini, economist says

In light of his and his party’s success, many analysts now expect Salvini to become Italy’s next resident of the Chigi Palace, the traditional residence of the country’s prime ministers.

Brunello Rosa, chief executive and head of Research at Rosa & Roubini Associates, told CNBC Tuesday that Italy was facing a “momentous moment.”

“Salvini gained massively in terms of popularity in the last year or so and then in the European election Lega came out as the first party and now the ratio of strengths within the coalition has completely changed,” he told CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe.

“In our view, Salvini is on his way to Palazzo Chigi to become prime minister but there are still a few hurdles to get there including potentially a general election that needs to be of course called by President Mattarella, it’s not any ministers prerogative to do so.”

Economists that follow Italy’s political machinations, like JPMorgan’s Marco Protopapa, doubt that Conte’s attempts to normalize the situation will be successful.

“In our view, the internal contradictions of the populist coalition have been laid bare and run too deep to be healed in a lasting way. Arguably, both Lega and M5S are playing a tug of war game where each of them hopes that the other party will give up and take the responsibility to pull the plug,” he said in a note late Monday.

JP Morgan’s house view is that it is likely that the government will fall by the end of July, with a new general election at the end of September. Conte’s press conference on Monday was, in its view, a “clear demonstration of the extreme fragility of the government at this stage.”

Italy’s latest political crisis comes at a fragile moment for Italy’s economy which has just edged out of a short-lived recession (its third in a decade) but investors are nervous over the government’s fractious quality and uncertainty over spending plans which have upset the European Commission, which sets spending rules and limits.

Conte himself noted on Monday that the government faced a “complex” 2020 budget process and needed financial markets to have confidence in Italy. He also called on both parties not to intervene in what he called the “delicate dialogue” between the country’s Economy Minister Giovanni Tria and European Commission that is pressing Italy to lower its budget deficit and debt pile.
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https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/04/italy-in-crisis-amid-political-fights-threats-and-instability.html

Italy faces ‘momentous moment’ amid political fights, threats and instability
Published Tue, Jun 4 2019 5:13 AM EDTUpdated Tue, Jun 4 2019 5:59 AM EDT
Holly Ellyatt
@HollyEllyatt
   

ROME, ITALY - NOVEMBER 29: The Vice President of the Council and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini attends the television show ‘L’aria che tira’.
Simona Granati - Corbis | Corbis News | Getty Images
   
   
Key Points

    Tensions between Lega and its coalition partner, the Five Star Movement (M5S), have been brewing for months.
    Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte threatened to step down Monday.
    Conte urged the M5S and Lega party to accelerate their reform program.


Italy appears to have lurched further into another political crisis with gusto although Matteo Salvini, the leader of the increasingly powerful Lega party, is insisting that he has no intention of bringing down the government.

Tensions between Lega and its coalition partner, the Five Star Movement (M5S), have been brewing for months and on Monday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte threatened to step down if the two parties in his coalition government don’t stop arguing.

At a press conference Monday, Conte urged the M5S and Lega party to set their differences aside and accelerate their reform program.

He also asked the two parties, which have experienced increasing tensions over policy since they formed a coalition in May 2018, to make a clear decision on the way forward.

“I therefore call on both political forces and, in particular, on their respective leaders, who also play a key role in the governance structure, to make a clear choice to tell me and tell us whether they intend to continue in the spirit of the (government) contract, drawn up with the aim of achieving its contents,” he said in a live broadcast on Italian TV.

On Tuesday morning however, Matteo Salvini said he had no intention of bringing down the government and that he wanted it to accelerate its action, Reuters reported. He said he was ready to meet government partners whenever.

Italy’s current political instability comes after months of rising tensions between the governing partners which formed a coalition government in May 2018 after an inconclusive election. Both Salvini and Luigi Di Maio, the head of the M5S, chose Conte as prime minister to lead Italy’s 66th government since World War II.

The leaders have disagreed over various policies and election pledges, however, and while Lega was initially seen as the junior partner in the alliance, party leader Matteo Salvini has become more prominent and forthright. His party, which started as a secessionist northern party, has also seen wider regional election success in the last year and in the European Parliament elections in late May the party won 29 seats, compared to M5S’ 14 seats.
VIDEO02:49
Snap election in Italy could be winning step for Salvini, economist says

In light of his and his party’s success, many analysts now expect Salvini to become Italy’s next resident of the Chigi Palace, the traditional residence of the country’s prime ministers.

Brunello Rosa, chief executive and head of Research at Rosa & Roubini Associates, told CNBC Tuesday that Italy was facing a “momentous moment.”

“Salvini gained massively in terms of popularity in the last year or so and then in the European election Lega came out as the first party and now the ratio of strengths within the coalition has completely changed,” he told CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe.

“In our view, Salvini is on his way to Palazzo Chigi to become prime minister but there are still a few hurdles to get there including potentially a general election that needs to be of course called by President Mattarella, it’s not any ministers prerogative to do so.”

Economists that follow Italy’s political machinations, like JPMorgan’s Marco Protopapa, doubt that Conte’s attempts to normalize the situation will be successful.

“In our view, the internal contradictions of the populist coalition have been laid bare and run too deep to be healed in a lasting way. Arguably, both Lega and M5S are playing a tug of war game where each of them hopes that the other party will give up and take the responsibility to pull the plug,” he said in a note late Monday.

JP Morgan’s house view is that it is likely that the government will fall by the end of July, with a new general election at the end of September. Conte’s press conference on Monday was, in its view, a “clear demonstration of the extreme fragility of the government at this stage.”

Italy’s latest political crisis comes at a fragile moment for Italy’s economy which has just edged out of a short-lived recession (its third in a decade) but investors are nervous over the government’s fractious quality and uncertainty over spending plans which have upset the European Commission, which sets spending rules and limits.

Conte himself noted on Monday that the government faced a “complex” 2020 budget process and needed financial markets to have confidence in Italy. He also called on both parties not to intervene in what he called the “delicate dialogue” between the country’s Economy Minister Giovanni Tria and European Commission that is pressing Italy to lower its budget deficit and debt pile.


Brace For Impact: Italy Poised To Launch Euro Parallel Currency


https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-05/brace-impact-italy-poised-launch-euro-parallel-currency
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline RE

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Brace For Impact: Italy Poised To Launch Euro Parallel Currency

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-05/brace-impact-italy-poised-launch-euro-parallel-currency

Backed by what precisely?  Pasta Fazool?

RE
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Offline azozeo

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Brace For Impact: Italy Poised To Launch Euro Parallel Currency

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-05/brace-impact-italy-poised-launch-euro-parallel-currency

Backed by what precisely?  Pasta Fazool?

RE

Italian tulip bulb's of course.
You know this is a crisis waiting to happen to slaughter the sleeple's with crypto toxic poofness.
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline RE

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Brace For Impact: Italy Poised To Launch Euro Parallel Currency

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-05/brace-impact-italy-poised-launch-euro-parallel-currency

Backed by what precisely?  Pasta Fazool?

RE

Italian tulip bulb's of course.
You know this is a crisis waiting to happen to slaughter the sleeple's with crypto toxic poofness.

What I know is that Mish is talking out of his ass on ZH, as usual.

RE
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🍝 Italy's 5-Star says Salvini no longer a credible partner
« Reply #125 on: August 19, 2019, 01:41:30 AM »
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-italy-politics/italys-5-star-says-salvini-no-longer-a-credible-partner-idUSKCN1V80JG

August 18, 2019 / 8:57 AM / Updated 14 hours ago
Italy's 5-Star says Salvini no longer a credible partner
Gavin Jones, Silvia Ognibene


ROME/LUCCA (Reuters) - Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement said on Sunday that Matteo Salvini, leader of the far-right League, was no longer a credible partner, apparently closing the door on any possibility of resurrecting the ruling coalition.
Italian Deputy PM Matteo Salvini holds a news conference in southern Italy on a bank holiday as the government crisis continues, in Castel Volturno, Italy August 15, 2019. REUTERS/Ciro de Luca

Top brass of 5-Star met on Sunday at the villa of the movement’s founder, comedian Beppe Grillo, to discuss their stance after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte addresses the Senate on Tuesday on the government crisis.

“All those present were agreed in defining Salvini as no longer a credible interlocutor,” 5-Star said in a statement.

Among those at the meeting were 5-Star’s leader Luigi Di Maio, its speaker of the lower house Roberto Fico, and Alessandro Di Batista, who is not in parliament but is perhaps its most charismatic politician with a large personal following.

On Aug. 8, in an attempt to capitalize on his surging popularity, Salvini announced his alliance with 5-Star was no longer workable and called for elections that could crown him as prime minister.

However, his move has not gone to plan.

The League put forward a motion of no-confidence in the government, but 5-Star and the opposition Democratic Party (PD) refused to debate it and their politicians are now openly discussing forming a coalition among themselves to sideline Salvini.

Alarmed at the prospect of losing power, Salvini has softened his stance and indicated he would be ready to carry on governing with 5-Star, perhaps with a re-shuffle of cabinet members, but has so far been spurned by his erstwhile allies.

Salvini said after 5-Star’s statement that he would listen to Conte with an open mind on Tuesday and his main concern was now the risk of a 5-Star/PD government which he would “do all that is humanly possible to prevent.”

However, speaking at an event near the Tuscan town of Lucca, he added that he did not have the votes in parliament to block such a “government of losers”, a reference to the fact the League came first in recent European elections and leads in opinion polls.

He made clear that he was no longer determined to sink the government, saying that if Conte “sets out a path that is good for Italy, who am I to say no?”. On the other hand the League will organize street protests if 5-Star and the PD hook up “because the sovereignty of the country is at stake.”

5-Star said Salvini had proved himself to be untrustworthy and described his recent overtures towards them as “a shameful U-turn in which he is trying to dictate conditions without any credibility”.

The party said it regretted that Salvini’s behavior had ruined its collaboration with the League’s members of parliament, with whom it had worked well since the government was formed 14 months ago.

The 5-Star Movement has been hurt by its tie-up with the League, halving its voter support since the two parties joined forces in June last year, according to opinion polls. The League has overtaken it to become Italy’s most popular party.

Editing by David Holmes and Alexandra Hudson
« Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 01:43:07 AM by RE »
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🍝 Italy’s prime minister resigns as government nears collapse
« Reply #126 on: August 20, 2019, 03:01:07 PM »
https://nypost.com/2019/08/20/italys-prime-minister-resigns-as-government-nears-collapse/

Italy’s prime minister resigns as government nears collapse

By Bob Fredericks

August 20, 2019 | 1:55pm | Updated


Giuseppe Conte AFP/Getty Images

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Italy’s prime minister said he would resign on Tuesday and launched a blistering attack on his own interior minister, accusing him of sinking the ruling coalition and endangering the economy for personal gain.

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

“[Salvini] has shown that he is following his own interests and those of his party,” an angry Conte told a packed Senate, a stony-faced Salvini sitting by his side.

“His decisions pose serious risks for this country.”

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

Conte, who belongs to neither of the coalition’s two parties, said he would hand in his resignation later in the day, allowing the head of state to start formal consultations with parties to see if a new coalition can be formed.
Enlarge Image
Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte addresses the Senate

13
Matteo Salvini delivers a speech on the Senate floor

EPA

Failing that, President Sergio Mattarella would have to dissolve Parliament, 3˝ years ahead of schedule, a move that could trigger elections as early as the autumn.

Financial markets rallied on Conte’s resignation, seemingly hopeful that snap polls could be avoided amid reports the ruling 5-Star Movement might seek an alliance with the center-left opposition Democratic Party.

Salvini at times shook his head, rolled his eyes or nodded to League senators as the prime minister accused him of being “irresponsible,” “reckless,” “alarming” and “disrespectful.”

Conte said he was worried by Salvini’s threat to call people into the country’s squares if his drive for elections were thwarted, as well as his demand for “full powers.”
Enlarge Image
Italian's rally outside the Senate as the government nears collapseItalians rally outside the Senate as the government nears collapse.AP

“We do not need men who have ‘full powers’, but people who have institutional culture and a sense of responsibility,” he said in an hour-long speech in which he also denounced Salvini’s habit of brandishing the cross at his political rallies.

Salvini rejected Conte’s comments, saying other parties were afraid of going to elections and losing their influence.

He said his political goal was to challenge the European Union’s fiscal rules, which he has blamed for impoverishing the country.

Rome should spend at least $55 billion to stimulate the chronically weak economy, he added.

“I am not afraid,” he said. “I don’t want Italy to be a slave to anyone, and I don’t want Italy to be given a long chain like a little dog. I don’t want any chain at all.”

Italy has not held an election in the autumn since World War II because the final months of the year are traditionally dedicated to drawing up the budget — a key moment for a country with one of the world’s largest debt mountains.
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🍝 Italy’s prime minister just resigned. What the heck comes next?
« Reply #127 on: August 21, 2019, 01:23:19 AM »
https://www.vox.com/world/2019/8/20/20813855/italy-prime-minister-conte-salvini-elections

Italy’s prime minister just resigned. What the heck comes next?

Italy’s prime minister resigned on Tuesday, throwing a twist in far-right, anti-immigrant leader Matteo Salvini’s power play to get early elections.
By Jen Kirbyjen.kirby@vox.com Aug 20, 2019, 8:15pm EDT


Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini speaks in the Italian Senate on August 20, 2019. He’s been agitating for snap elections for weeks — and now he might get them. Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images

Italy has been slow walking into a political crisis for weeks. Now, it’s here.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned Tuesday, effectively collapsing the country’s government.

In a speech before the Italian Senate, Conte blamed his deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, for the mess, accusing him of being irresponsible and putting “his own interests and those of his party” ahead of Italy’s, at the risk of political and financial instability.

Conte is not totally wrong: Salvini has largely orchestrated this political drama.

Salvini, who leads the far-right, anti-immigrant Lega party, has been angling for weeks for snap elections, in the hopes that his rising popularity and success in May’s European Parliament elections would give him enough support that he could become prime minister outright after a new vote, or maybe with the support of smaller right-wing and far-right parties. Either way, the guy wants to become prime minister.

Italy just had elections in March 2018, and the fractured results forced an odd marriage between the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the Lega party. It was a fragile coalition to begin with, and divisions between the two and Salvini’s recent power play made it recently untenable.

Salvini withdrew his support for the government earlier in August and called for a confidence vote, which was expected today. But Conte’s resignation effectively preempted the vote, upending the government anyway.

Conte’s attacked Salvini’s “irresponsible” actions for setting this crisis in motion. But Salvini said Tuesday he’d “do everything all over again.”

But it all might not work out as perfectly as Salvini originally plotted. Right now, there’s a chance he won’t get the fall elections he desperately desires. Instead, his scheme could backfire, and he might get kicked out of government altogether.
What the heck is going on in Italian politics, briefly explained

Matteo Salvini is pretty much what’s going on in Italian politics.

His rise to power fits into a broader resurgence of right-wing populism that swept Europe in recent years. When Salvini took over leadership of the Lega in 2013, it was a regionalist party with a narrow focus on northern Italy (its full name is Lega Nord, or Northern League), and it lacked national appeal.

Salvini helped changed that, especially in the lead-up to the 2018 elections. He pushed the party rightward and embraced a populist, “Italians first” message. Most notably, he embraced an anti-immigrant platform at a time when Italy was on the front lines of Europe’s refugee and migrant crisis.

A savvy politician, Salvini plays up the anti-elitist, “man of the people” vibe, and he’s skilled at promoting this persona on social media. This summer, he campaigned on Italy’s beaches, deejaying, snapping selfies, and going shirtless, where he showed off his “proletarian paunch.”

Salvini also invokes religion a lot, something Conte criticized Salvini for during his resignation speech on Tuesday, saying it “undermined the principle of secularism of the modern state.” Salvini, in response, kissed a rosary.

All of this has worked out well for Salvini so far. He’s arguably the most popular politician in Italy right now, and his Lega party is polling at 38 percent — very close to the number needed to fully take control of government. Salvini’s party also came in first in the European parliamentary elections in Italy, with his anti-EU campaign taking 34 percent of the vote.

What hasn’t worked out well for Salvini is the awkward coalition government he’s a member of, which consists of his party and the Five Star Movement.

The Five Star Movement is a true hodgepodge. Founded by a former comedian in 2009, the party’s only real unifying ideology is that it’s anti-establishment. Georgetown political scientist Hans Noel described the party as “like what would happen if you put Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and Jon Stewart in a blender.”

But the Five Star Movement received the most votes — about 32 percent — in the elections last March. The center-left coalition, led by the Democratic Party, came in second place. In third was the center-right coalition, which included Salvini’s Lega. Lega got about 17 percent of the vote.

Thus ensued a long and complicated process of trying to form a government, in which neither the left nor the right could do so without the support of the Five Star Movement. It flirted with both sides, but Five Star’s leader Luigi di Maio eventually reached a deal with Salvini to form a government.

Both party leaders became deputy prime ministers, and they brought in Conte — an independent law professor who had never held a political office — as a compromise choice to be the prime minister.

But the Five Star-Lega partnership was an odd fit from the start, and since the 2018 election, Salvini and Lega have gained in popularity, while support for the Five Star Movement has waned.

The Five Star Movement, new to government, struggled to keep pace — or match Salvini’s political savvy. Tensions arose between the two partners, and sometimes spilled over into public feuding.

Salvini, buoyed by his popularity, saw a chance to increase his party’s power in government and perhaps become prime minister himself. In early August — just 14 months into the government — Salvini declared that the coalition with the Five Star Movement had failed and the only way to break the deadlock was to hold new elections. He pushed a confidence vote to take down the government in the hopes of getting those elections this fall.

But Salvini may have miscalculated.
What happens next may or may not be what Salvini anticipated

As mentioned, Salvini called for a confidence vote earlier this month, which was expected Tuesday. But Conte sidestepped him by resigning, putting the power into the hands of Italy’s president, Sergio Mattarella, who would decide whether to accept Conte’s resignation. It also undercut Salvini. (Conte’s resignation didn’t cancel the confidence vote, but Salvini and Lega, perhaps recognizing their blunder, withdrew it anyway.)

Mattarella said he requested Conte stay on as he figures out what’s next: either calling new elections or trying to piece together a new governing coalition with Italy’s party leaders.

This might be a caretaker-type government, meaning a coalition that would stay in power to pass some critical legislation and then disband in a few months, or a more long-term one that would last for the remainder of what should have been Conte’s five-year term.

But in either case, it could also mean Salvini gets pushed into the opposition and out of power altogether.

That’s because a possible option is a coalition between the center-left, led by the Democratic Party, and the Five Star Movement — which would mean Lega, and Salvini with it, would be gone.

It would certainly be a twist if Salvini’s machinations ended with a center-left coalition in power. If that happens, Salvini can still be an agitator from the outside, and skilled politician he is, he may be able to spin the narrative in his favor. But his influence within government — and right-wing, anti-immigration policies — would be diminished.

Salvini seemed to realize this over the weekend, trying to make nice again with the Five Star Movement. But it looked to be too little, too late. The Five Star Movement leader di Maio called such offers “regretful” and “tardy,” and reports suggested that they’d already started making overtures to the center-left.

But there’s no guarantee that the center-left Democratic Party and the Five Star Movement can work together. There are deep divisions within the center-left about taking such a risk, and a lot of disagreements between the Democratic Party and the Five Star Movement. The two have rejected each other in the past. But necessity — the current political crisis and Salvini’s undeniable power grab — might bring them together now.

If it doesn’t, and Italian politicians can’t figure out any other way to form a government, then Italy is likely heading for a snap election, possibly in October.

Given Salvini and Lega’s current standing in the polls, the chances they would be victorious look good if there are elections soon.

A Salvini victory would put a far-right, anti-immigrant populist in charge of Europe’s third-largest economy, undoubtedly complicating the politics of the continent and the rest of the world during an already uncertain time.
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