Italy’s government nears collapse as Senate debates no confidence motion

Today, members of the Italian Senate will conduct a confidence vote in Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte. If the verdict is

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Photo: AP/Ebrahim Noroozi

Today, members of the Italian Senate will conduct a confidence vote in Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte. If the verdict is that of no confidence, President Sergio Mattarella must whether to install a new government based on a majority or call an election to be held in October.

Currently, the deputy prime minister and leader of the populist Northern League, Matteo Salvini, has the most political momentum and may well succeed Conte.

Much of Salvini’s momentum can be attributed to his party’s success in the May 26 European parliament elections, where the League attracted more than twice as many votes as the Five Star Movement – Italy’s other main populist party.

Salvini has garnered support from the middle class, rallying around policies related to inequality, migrants and corruption. Most notably, Mr Salvini has campaigned heavily on controversial anti-immigration policies, such as closing ports of entry.

With a passage of no confidence, Conte will go to the polls and likely face off in an election that includes Salvini, who has the most upward potential. Were Salvini to win, expect heightened disputes between Italy and the European Union, specifically over migration policies.

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