What next for Italy as resignation of PM Conte looms?

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is expected to resign on Tuesday after populist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini called time on the country’s dysfunctional coalition.

Conte is scheduled to speak in the Senate at 1500 CEST (1300 GMT).

Silvia Sciorilla Borrelli, Rome Correspondent for Politico, told Euronews that even at the 11th hour, it remained unclear what might happen to Conte later this afternoon. “This whole government crisis is unprecedented,” she said.

“As it is looking right now, it’s looking more likely that Prime Minister Conte will resign, than actually face a no-confidence vote.”

If that happens, there are five scenarios that may play out this afternoon.

1. An “Ursula government”

Named for Ursula von der Leyen, the president-elect of the European Commission, this would be a centrist government led by Romano Prodi, including the Democractic Party, Forza Italia and Five Star Movement – the same parties that were decisive in the election of von der Leyen.

The challenges would be that the Democratic Party and the Five Star Movement would struggle to govern together, and it would strengthen the League in opposition.

2. A “Red-Yellow” government

The Democratic Party and Five Star Movement (sponsored by comeback kid Matteo Renzi). Possible prime ministers could include Conte or Five Star’s Roberto Fico, current president of the Chamber of Deputies.

Problems: What would Renzi’s role be in this new government? And how long would it last?

3. More of the same: League-Five Star coalition.

Sponsored by Matteo Salvini, this is extremely unlikely – for a start it would be a difficult pitch for Italians.

4. A “national unity” government

Likely led by the president of either of the two chambers (Fico or Elisabetta Casellati, current president of the Italian Senate) to push economic reforms and stabilise the country.

But who would support it?

5. Technocrats

Led by Conte, Raffaele Cantone (former prosecutor and head of anti-corruption unit) or Enrico Letta (former prime minister of Italy) to get Italy through the budget session and head to the polls later this year.

6. Five Star Movement

A Five Star Movement minority government led by Conte, Di Maio or Fico. Unlikely, not least because it would be just as unstable as the last government.

The end of Salvini?

For Politico’s Borrelli, it is Salvini who might end up being the biggest loser if the government collapses.

“Italy has never has never had a government crisis right in the middle of the summer, it hasn’t headed to the polls for a general election in 100 years,” she said.

“It’s not very likely for Sergio Mattarella, the Italian President, to send Italians back to the polls right in the middle of a complicated budget negotiation with Brussels.

“So, it looks like there is a chance, assuming the Five Star movement and the Democratic Party succeed in their potential tie up that Matteo Salvini, instead of becoming prime minister, could be ousted from government.

Read the full article at: euronews.com