Future of Italian government in question after major cabinet row

Sergio Mattarella

Tensions between Italy’s ruling parties have climaxed in an overnight cabinet meeting, triggering talk of a looming crisis for their populist coalition government.

The far-right League and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) have been squabbling for months, but frictions have increased in the run-up to May’s European Parliament elections.

The latest row played out in a cabinet meeting that ran into the night, in which the League effectively vetoed a financial aid package for Rome, which has an M5S-affiliated mayor.

On Wednesday, the Il Messaggero and Corriere della Sera dailies ran front-page headlines that spoke of a “war’’ or “fight’’ over the so-called “Save-Rome’’ measure.

La Stampa, another newspaper, said the government was “tottering.’’

After the cabinet meeting, M5S sources said debt-relief measures for Rome had only been “half adopted,’’ and pledged to extend them again during parliamentary discussions.

League leader Matteo Salvini, who is also deputy premier and interior minister, had argued that Rome should not get any preferential treatment compared to other debt-laden Italian municipalities.

His M5S counterpart Luigi Di Maio, deputy premier and industry minister, first boycotted Tuesday’s cabinet to do a TV interview, then joined it to engage in the dispute with Salvini.

From the opposition, former premier Matteo Renzi of the centre-left Democratic Party wrote on Facebook that the ruling coalition is paralysed by “total conflict on every issue.’’

Prior to this week, the League and the M5S have rowed over abortion rights, migration policy, a League politician accused of corruption, plans to build a high-speed rail tunnel across the Alps and other issues.


nlng Campaign AD



PT Mag Campaign AD

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: This space is available for a Text_Ad.. Call Willie on +2347088095401 for more information

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.