Salvini wants Italians to go to the polls, warns of Europhile stitch-up

The political world in Italy has been thrown into chaos after the resignation of prime minister Giuseppe Conte. Lega leader Matteo Salvini has struck out at Conte’s plan to form an ultra-europhile government, and has called for Italians to go to the polls as soon as possible.

A collection of ten cross-party Italian senators met on Tuesday evening to support Giussepe Conte’s third Italian government in the making. The new group was named “The Europhiles”, a clear signal to Brussels the new administration would be allies to the European project.

Lega leader Salvini told La7’s Di Martedi on Tuesday night: “The new group of Europhiles?

“These are not ‘responsible’ but are accomplices and attached to the chair. This little play must finish as soon as possible”

The political turmoil has played out to the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 86,000 Italians.

Eurosceptic Salvini is determined to prevent another government being chosen behind closed doors. Nicola Zangaretti, leader of the centre-left Democratic Party, called for a new government “that is clearly pro-European” in a tweet.

Matteo Salvini said: “Enough with this mess, no more time-wasting, no more playing games and buying and selling senators.

“Italians need hospitals, open and safe school and a year of fiscal peace to restore breath and hope to families and businesses.

“This is not the government that can accompany Italy out of this disaster.

“Let’s use the next few weeks to give people the floor again and then for five years we will have a serious and legitimate parliament and government, not chosen behind closed doors but chosen by Italians”

The Italian establishment will be extremely reluctant to call a snap election if it can help it. One look at the polls shows a clear pathway for a Eurosceptic coalition to be formed between Salvini’s Lega, the Brothers of Italy and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.