Italian PM Conte to step down after losing Salvini support; snap election next?

Italian PM Conte to step down after losing Salvini support; snap election next?
Deputy PM Matteo Salvini. DiMartedi video, YouTube

[Ed. – This is a big development, if Salvini gets a snap election.  The 5-star Movement and the (Social) Democrats may be able to form a new government and bring back Matteo Renzi, which in practical political terms would be the equivalent of Macron, Merkel, and Theresa May holding on in their countries.  Uneasy status quo; top dead center, slow deterioration.  But if they can’t achieve that, Salvini and the Northern League could be in the driver’s seat to form a new government after a snap election.  Salvini is gambling big. (For more background on Italian politics and connections to Spygate in the U.S., see here.)]

Italy’s government collapsed, triggering a power struggle between the country’s right-wing nationalists and rival parties, along with deepening Europe’s political upheaval as the Continent struggles with immigration and slowing economic growth.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned on Tuesday after Matteo Salvini, a rising force from Europe’s insurgent far-right, withdrew his support for the government. Mr. Salvini, whose anti-immigrant League is leading in public-opinion polls, is pushing for snap elections.

Mr. Salvini’s opponents maneuvered to avoid a fresh vote, with some leaders of the antiestablishment 5 Star Movement, which has been governing alongside the League, saying they were open to exploring a deal with the center-left Democratic Party to form a new coalition.

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Such a deal could bring together Italy’s centrist former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his longtime bête noire, comedian Beppe Grillo, 5 Star’s founder and guiding spirit.

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