Giuseppe Conte resigned as Italy’s prime minister on 20 August, after accusing the interior minister and leader of the far-right Northern League, Matteo Salvini, of triggering a government crisis. Ten days later, after Salvini tried to force an election, Conte is back as the Italian leader under a new coalition of the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) and the center-left Democratic Party (PD).
Antonino: ‘I was listening to the live broadcast of Conte’s speech when he announced his resignation as the prime minister. After Salvini broke the contract with the government, all political discussions were broadcasted by the Italian public TV. Thus this crisis was described as “the most transparent crisis in Italian history”.’
Francesco: ‘Conte resigned because he did not want to be part of Salvini’s political games. As a university professor, he did not want to cast a shadow over his name. He gave a very transparent and logical speech and communicated his decision to resign at the same time to the Italian public and the parties in parliament. Salvini’s reply was full of insults and with no reasonable arguments.’
Antonio: ‘Salvini’s aggressive campaign during the past year led to the Northern League wining the EU elections. Salvini felt power in his hands and started to impose his opinion and ideas arrogantly inside and out of parliament. Now he is crying out for elections as he is quite confident that the League will win. In my opinion, elections will bring chaos. Salvini represents an extreme right political philosophy and he is not good for Italy’s political stability and collaboration with the EU.’
‘There is great polarization now between the supporters and opponents of Salvini. If we have elections and Salvini wins, he will most likely ally with Fratelli d'Italia, which represents even more extreme right ideas. In that case, I would be worried about Italy’s democracy. Salvini often repeats phrases that Mussolini used to say and he openly supports Putin and Trump.’