cloudyn.png
Sunday January 24th, 2021 11:48PM

Italian coalition ally yanks ministers, sparks govt crisis

By The Associated Press

ROME (AP) — Matteo Renzi, a former Italian premier, yanked his ministers on Wednesday from Premier Giuseppe Conte's government, triggering a political crisis in the middle of a pandemic that could lead to a revamped Cabinet, a different coalition leader or even an early election that opposition right-wing parties hope will bring them to power.

Ex-Premier Matteo Renzi, who leads the small centrist Italy Alive party, has been chafing for weeks at what he sees as Conte's heavy hand in deciding how some 200 billion euros in European Union funding will be used to help pull Italy out of years of economic stagnation, only worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Renzi in announcing that the farm and family ministers and Cabinet undersecretary were bolting the 16-month-old center-left government, said he had enough of Conte's frequent governing through decrees instead of turning to Parliament.

“Italy Alive didn't provoke the political crisis,” Renzi told reporters, putting the blame for the government's unraveling on Conte's methods.

“We won't allow anyone to have full powers," said Renzi, who had governed Italy from 2014-2016.

It was unclear if Conte would try to negotiate further with Renzi or soon tender his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella, who for weeks has been insisting the government concentrate on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has worsened years of Italy's economic stagnation.

If Conte or someone who could replace can't muster enough support in Parliament, Mattarella could dissolve Parliament, paving the way for early elections that, if opinion surveys hold, could bring an alliance of right-wing and far-right nationalist forces to power.

Earlier, after conferring about his center-left government's stability with Mattarella, Conte expressed hope Renzi’s support would remain. “Otherwise, a (government) crisis wouldn't be understood by the country,” which is struggling with high numbers of COVID-19 infections amid a nationwide vaccination campaign, Conte told reporters.

“If there is willingness, I'll work to reinforce the cohesion of the coalition.," Conte told reporters.

Mattarella has said that if the current government collapses, he may pull the plug on the legislature and trigger early elections rather than risk an alternative coalition with fragile support in Parliament.

Opinion polls have consistently shown that any quick return to the ballot box would reward center-right forces, including the right-wing League of Matteo Salvini and the nationalist Brothers of Italy.

Conte's main partners in the current 16-month-old government are the populist 5-Star Movement and the center-left Democratic party. This coalition had replaced another also headed by lawyer Conte that included Salvini's Euro-skeptic party and the 5-Stars.

If Renzi does yank his Italy Alive party's support from the government, Conte could attempt a Cabinet shuffle.

But if Conte runs of political capital, Mattarella could decide on fresh elections as the better course. With businesses suffering due to lockdowns and other restrictions in the country where the pandemic first sprung, Mattarella could seek out a non-political figure to lead a government. That figure would need to draw enough support across the political party spectrum in Parliament.

Two names have been touted by political commentators: Mario Draghi, the former European Central Bank chief, and Marta Cartabia, who formerly headed Italy's constitutional court.

Renzi’s two ministers in the government abstained from a Cabinet vote late Tuesday to approve a draft plan for using the EU funds.

Renzi has brushed off criticism that he is irresponsibly provoking a government crisis in the middle of a pandemic. “What we’re doing is called POLITICS: studying the cards and making proposals,” he tweeted.

Renzi is known for power plays. He became Italian premier in 2014 after he maneuvered the governing Democratic Party to oust Enrico Letta. Renzi, though, lost a political gamble two years later when he staked his premiership on a constitutional referendum that failed, forcing him to resign.

He later broke with his fellow Democrats and formed the Italy Alive party, which, while small, has enough support in the Senate to make his voice count in the government.

___

Nicole Winfield in Rome contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Health, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
McConnell racing away from Trump as impeachment vote nears
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is moving abruptly away from President Donald Trump
1:33PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Tom Hanks heads TV special celebrating Biden's inauguration
Tom Hanks will host a 90-minute primetime TV special celebrating the inauguration of Joe Biden as president of the United States, with performances by Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato and Ant Clemons
1:26PM ( 12 minutes ago )
The Latest: McConnell rejects emergency session for trial
If the House impeaches President Donald Trump, a Senate trial on whether to convict him of inciting insurrection seems all but certain to have to wait until Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration
1:24PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Oregon lawmaker faces outcry after state Capitol breach
Sixteen days before the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and nearly 2,900 miles away, an eerily similar incident occurred at the Oregon Capitol when 50 protesters breached the building — where lawmakers were working — and clashed with law enforcement
1:16PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Italian coalition ally yanks ministers, sparks govt crisis
A coalition partner in Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte's government has yanked his ministers, leaving the premier's fate unclear
1:08PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Amazon seeks to keep conservative app Parler offline
Seattle-based Amazon
12:54PM ( 44 minutes ago )
AP National News
Indonesia starts mass COVID vaccinations over vast territory
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has received the first shot of a Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine after the country approved it for emergency use
11:28AM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump's Republican wall eroding ahead of impeachment vote
The wall of Republican support that has enabled President Donald Trump to weather a seemingly endless series of crises is beginning to erode
11:19AM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Heated debate as House considers impeachment
The debate is heated almost from the start as House sets up a vote to impeach President Donald Trump
10:56AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Advocacy group: Biden should revamp US human rights policy
Human Rights Watch is calling on President-elect Joe Biden to bring “fundamental change” to U_S_ policy on human rights and allow criminal investigations of President Donald Trump to “show that the president is not above the law.”
1:03PM ( 34 minutes ago )
More companies pause contributions to Hawley, others
Several more companies have suspended campaign contributions to Sen. Josh Hawley in the wake of last week’s attack at the U.S. Capitol, and a political action committee of Republicans opposed to President Donald Trump is pressuring remaining Missouri donors to abandon the GOP senator
12:58PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Airbnb to block, cancel DC bookings ahead of inauguration
Airbnb says it will be blocking and cancelling all reservations in the Washington, D
12:44PM ( 53 minutes ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Stocks mostly slip with focus on US politics, vaccines
Global stock markets are mostly down slightly as investors monitor the slow rollout of vaccines and a possible new attempt to impeach President Donald Trump
7:54AM ( 5 hours ago )
Fury at the shaken Capitol over the attack, security, virus
Last week, a furious mob overran the U.S. Capitol
6:31AM ( 7 hours ago )
Global stocks mixed after Wall St rebounds from uncertainty
Global stock markets are mixed after Wall Street rebounded, shrugging off uncertainty about a possible new attempt to impeach President Donald Trump
3:54AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Turkey approves China-based Sinovac vaccine's emergency use
Turkish authorities have given the go-ahead for the emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd
12:53PM ( 45 minutes ago )
German government defends slow vaccination campaign
Germany’s health minister has defended the government's decision to procure and approve vaccines against the coronavirus along with the rest of the European Union amid criticism that the rollout of shots in the country has been too slow
12:48PM ( 49 minutes ago )
The Latest: Pharmacy group: Can meet Biden's vaccine goals
A trade group representing chain pharmacies says its members can “easily” meet President-elect Joe Biden’s goal of administering 100 million coronavirus vaccines in his first 100 days
12:11PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Health
Internet 'blackout' in Uganda on eve of tense election
Ugandan authorities appear to have cut off internet access in the country on the eve of a tense presidential election, while a lawyer for leading opposition candidate Bobi Wine says all contact has been lost with him
1:12PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Spain: Snow adds to misery in Madrid slum area without power
As record snowfall and sub-freezing temperatures enveloped much of normally temperate Spain, few residents suffered as severely as thousands of people who live in a mega-shantytown outside Madrid
12:59PM ( 38 minutes ago )
AP PHOTOS: Tunisia revolution victims plea for recognition
Some lost a leg, some gaze out from permanently scarred faces, others live forever bound to a wheelchair
10:49AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
Intel replaces its chief executive after a rocky stretch
Intel is replacing its CEO after only two years, but it has been a rough stretch for the chipmaker
11:48AM ( 1 hour ago )
Climate activist Thunberg to appear on Swedish postal stamp
Swedish teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg will appear on a postal stamp in her native Sweden that is part of a series focusing on the environment which will be issued Thursday
11:43AM ( 1 hour ago )
Shakira sells music publishing rights to UK company
The Board of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, a U.K.-based investment company, has acquired 100 percent of Grammy-winning superstar Shakira’s music publishing rights
11:13AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Target continues to thrive in whirlwind retail environment
Target’s strong sales streak extended through the holiday season, as shoppers snapped up everything from clothing to home goods during the pandemic
8:44AM ( 4 hours ago )
China's 2020 auto sales fall for third year amid coronavirus
An industry group says China’s sales of SUVs, minivans and sedans fell for a third year in 2020 as the coronavirus hurt already weak demand in the industry’s top global market
8:19AM ( 5 hours ago )
NIreland stores see empty shelves as Brexit trade rules bite
The U.K.’s biggest supermarket chains are warning that food supplies in Northern Ireland face disruption because of new checks imposed by Britain’s departure from the European Union
7:22AM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
US to block cotton from China region targeted in crackdown
The U.S. government says it will halt imports of cotton and tomatoes from the Uighur region of China in its most sweeping action yet to pressure the Communist Party to stop a campaign against ethnic minorities
1:37PM ( 1 minute ago )
The Latest: US coronavirus deaths hit another daily high
Coronavirus deaths in the U.S. have hit another one-day high with more than 4,300 dead
1:22PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Oregon lawmaker faces outcry after state Capitol breach
Sixteen days before the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and nearly 2,900 miles away, an eerily similar incident occurred at the Oregon Capitol when 50 protesters breached the building — where lawmakers were working — and clashed with law enforcement
1:16PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Internet 'blackout' in Uganda on eve of tense election
Ugandan authorities appear to have cut off internet access in the country on the eve of a tense presidential election, while a lawyer for leading opposition candidate Bobi Wine says all contact has been lost with him
1:12PM ( 26 minutes ago )
Harbaugh, Ravens happily travel road to success in playoffs
Home-field advantage in the playoffs is overrated for Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who has found that the road to success in the postseason usually involves packing his bags and getting the heck out of Baltimore
1:09PM ( 29 minutes ago )