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Giuseppe Conte resigns as Italy’s Prime Minister

Italy’s Prime Minister has announced he will resign.

Giuseppe Conte made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon after delivering a blistering attack against his coalition partner and Matteo Salvini.

It comes after interior minister Mr Salvini, pictured below, tabled a no confidence motion against the prime minister, withdrawing support for the populist government.

In response, Mr Conte called Mr Salvini ‘irresponsible’ and said he had created a political crisis for ‘personal and party interests’.

Mr Conte also stressed that a sudden government crisis puts Italy at risk of ‘political and financial instability’.

He told the Italian Senate he would hand in his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella.

Mr Mattarella, as head of state, could ask Mr Conte to stay on and try to find an alternative majority in parliament, or accept his resignation and see if another leader can forge a coalition.

Failing that, the president could dissolve parliament, setting the stage for a general election as early as October.

Conte, a law professor with no previous political experience, became prime minister in June 2018 after the right-wing League and anti-establishment Five Star Movement reached a coalition agreement.
The two populist parties secured the most votes in the March 2018 election, but the coalition fell apart earlier this month over disagreements on key policies.