The Heat: Italy’s political crisis

The Heat

Less than 15 months after a new Italian government, led by the populist Five Star Movement and the far-right League party was sworn in, Italy is caught in a political crisis.  

Last year, the League party’s leader, Matteo Salvini, became deputy prime minister and interior minister. A hardliner on issues like migration, he has fought to stop migrants rescued at sea from entering the country.

Meanwhile, his party has surged in the polls and earlier this month he called for new elections after accusing his coalition partners of incompetence.

Then last Tuesday the government collapsed with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announcing his resignation. He lashed out at Salvini, accusing him of being an opportunist who wants more power.

The Italian president has a key role in determining where the crisis goes from here. He has given parties a few more days to try and put together a new government. If that fails, Italy will likely face new elections.  

To discuss:

  • Giovanna De Maio, visiting fellow of Foreign Policy, at the Brookings Institution
  • Christian Blasberg, lecturer of Contemporary History, at LUISS Guido Carli University 
  • Paolo Borchia, member of European Parliament for Italy’s Lega Nord party

For more: