Italy’s Former Prime Minister Pulls Support for Ruling Coalition

Italy’s former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has withdrawn his party from the ruling coalition on Jan. 13, sending the country into a political crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Italy’s former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has withdrawn his party from the ruling coalition on Jan. 13, sending the country into a political crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Renzi announced at a press conference the resignations of Agriculture Minister Teresa Bellanova, Family Minister Elena Bonetti, and Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ivan Scalfarotto — all from his Italia Viva Party.

“It’s much more difficult to leave a government post than to cling to the status quo. We are experiencing a great political crisis. We are discussing the dangers associated with the pandemic. Faced with this crisis, the sense of responsibility is to solve problems, not hide them,” Renzi said.

“We have decided to give up our mandate in the name of the dignity and nobility of politics and our individual freedom and responsibility,” Bellanova, Bonetti, and Scalfarotto wrote in a letter published on the official website of Renzi’s party.

The move leaves the government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte without a parliamentary majority, plunging the country into a political chaos as COVID-19 cases continue to surge.

The Democratic Party and the Five Star Movement have criticized Renzi’s move, citing the pandemic and the need for vaccination and for efforts to prevent the economy from deteriorating further.

“We need investment, work, health, to fight the pandemic. Not a government crisis,” Democratic Party Leader Nicola Zingaretti said in state television, calling Renzi’s move “an act against Italy.”

“While the country is in a health emergency, Renzi withdraws his ministers. I don’t think anyone understands this choice,” Five Star Movement Spokesperson Victo Crimi stated in a tweet.

Renzi dismissed the criticisms, stating in a tweet, “Those who, in the name of the pandemic, claim to stop the democratic game, are not blocking the pandemic, are blocking freedom.”


© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.