Italy's Democratic Party (PD) Thursday set tough new conditions for forming a coalition with the Five-Star Movement (M5E), which raises the chance of snap elections.
Italy: Center-Left Democratic Party Pushes for New Coalition
This Mediterranean country is going through a political turmoil after its government imploded this week, forcing Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to resign on August 20. The ruling coalition collapse was triggered by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini who said he could no longer work with his coalition partner.
He called then for elections, a political move which seeks to take advantage of the popularity gained in his uncompromising struggle against African migrants.
However the Minister’s move could backfire him because President Sergio Mattarella will only dissolve the parliament if no other coalition can be formed, and now both the M5S and the PD are looking at a possible tie-up to sideline Salvini.
Amid this political turmoil, Forza Italia (FI), the party of Silvio Berlusconi, who has also expressed extreme xenophobic positions in the past, supported snap elections too but to form a center-right government.
"In parliament, a majority of the right-wing center is needed and there is only one way out, early elections," said Berlusconi, who served as PM in several governments (1994 - 2011).
"We have expressed our concern about this crisis, which is particularly serious because it affects our nation at a delicate moment," he added and recalled that Italy must prepare a viable budget for the European Union.
The FI leader then referred to the weakening of the Italian economy brought about by the League-M5E government and called for a "serious and coherent coalition" to prevent the left from coming to power.
"The left would be dangerous for business," Berlusconi insisted and recalled that the right already governs in many regions of Italy.