Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte issued an ultimatum yesterday in a much-anticipated press conference to the two long-running government parties for weeks. „The majority political forces need to be aware of their responsibilities,“ Conte said. He was unwilling to die if the five-star populist movement and the right-wing populist Lega did not support the government.
Should he find no cooperation on the part of the parties, he is ready to resign. According to Conte, it is now up to the political forces to make a decision. In any case, five-star boss Luigi Di Maio and Lega boss are expecting „a clear and quick response,“ as the nonpartisan Premier, who was hired by the five-star movement a year ago, said.
Conte agreed to launch a „phase two“ of government activity. In this new phase, priority is given to economic growth and tax cuts in line with EU rules, which, according to Conte, must be respected unless they can be changed. He was prepared to continue to work for the „government of change“ that had been in Italy for a year. Italy, however, needed a „far-sighted planning“ that needed the power of all coalition partners.
Salvini wants to continue working
The vice-premier and leader of the right-wing Lega, Matteo Salvini, responded to Contes ultimatum yesterday with a readiness for dialogue. „We have never stopped working for Italy. We have refrained from responding to polemics and verbal abuse. The Italians have recognized this with nine million votes for the Lega, „said Salvini on Facebook.
The opposition reacted critically to Contes speech. The Social Democrats (PD) spoke of a „climate of decline in government“. In this situation, the further governance is impossible. „The words of Contes have de facto opened a government crisis. Because of the ongoing dispute between the coalition partners, this government can not continue. Conte should have the courage to report in Parliament on the government’s stalemate, which has been going on for months, „said the PD faction leader in the Chamber of Deputies, Graziano Delrio.