(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned on Tuesday, effectively averting a no-confidence vote tabled by the far-right League party’s leader Matteo Salvini.
In an hour-long speech at the Italian Senate on Tuesday afternoon, Conte launched a scathing attack on Salvini, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, who is thought to be vying for his job.
Earlier this month, Salvini pushed for new elections, saying that the government coalition between the hardline anti-immigrant League party and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement no longer holds a majority in parliament.
Conte said Salvini’s demand for fresh elections — a mere 18 months after the last ones were held — was “irresponsible” and accused him of putting the national interest at risk in order to advance his own personal interests.
“With a political crisis in mid-August, elections will probably be held in autumn and then this would mean a provisional government and will make us weak with our EU partners,” Conte said.
Conte also slammed Salvini, who was sitting next to him throughout his speech, for what he described as a lack of statesmanship, and said his decision could bring about institutional and financial uncertainty.