Italy's divided coalition: Conte threatens to resign

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte threatened on Monday to resign because of the rifts within the coalition government, which have widened after the European elections. He called on Lega leader Matteo Salvini and Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio to show more commitment to their government alliance. Commentators suspect that his warning shot may go unheeded.

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HuffPost Italia (IT) /

Not the way to put your foot down

Huffington Post Italia isn't happy with Conte's tactics:

“No, Mr President, that is not how things are done. ... At the press conference all you did was give the two deputy prime ministers a rap on the knuckles without addressing any of the real problems. You rightly complained that the quarreling within the coalition has gotten out of hand, but you failed to put forward an alternative. You said that you didn't want to remain in power at any price, while at the same time letting on that you would in fact like to soldier on. You mentioned all of the points on which Lega and M5S differ without taking a stance on any of them.”

Večernji list (HR) /

New puppet would not be hard to find

Večernji list believes the resignation threat will fall flat:

“Even if Conte were to resign, as he threatened to do on Tuesday if Lega and M5S continue their fighting, that doesn't mean the government would collapse. ... After Conte they would try to find another puppet to last through to the end of the year or until next year's budget is approved. Only then, in spring 2020, would they seek new elections. At the moment a dissolution of the government wouldn't suit the interests of either Lega, which is poaching votes from the other centre-right parties with its little games, or M5S.”

De Telegraaf (NL) /

Salvini seeking confrontation

Matteo Salvini will turn a deaf ear to Conte's dramatic announcement, De Telegraaf is sure:

“In any event tough budget decisions will have to be taken after the summer, bringing further big problems. Conte said that it was only with great difficulty that he was able to avoid an EU Commission infringement procedure. And that's also what he's trying to avoid now, by not letting the budget deficit get out of hand. ... But Salvini would rather challenge the EU. If he can trigger new elections and take over from Conte after a clear victory, Italy will have a new right-wing government. ... Salvini will seek confrontation with Brussels. There, the independent Conte will be remembered as an honest prime minister with whom it was possible to talk. And Italy will become even more isolated.”

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

In the end the markets call the shots

The reaction of the financial markets will decide the outcome of the conflict in Rome, Rzeczpospolita believes:

“At the moment investors are waiting things out. It's true that yields on Italian bonds exceeded those on Greek bonds for the first time in ten years this week - although at 1.8 percent (for five-year bonds) they're still lower than for comparable Polish bonds. But with debts of almost 2.6 billion euros, a loss of investor trust in Salvini's programme would force the Italian prime minister to submit to Brussels. Because otherwise he would no longer be able to finance the activities of the state.”