Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was due to address the nation on Monday amid mounting speculation that his populist government was close to collapse.
“Today at 6.15 pm [16:15 GMT] I will hold a press conference at (government headquarters in) Palazzo
Chigi, I have a few important things to tell all of you,’’ Conte tweeted.
Conte has been in office for just over a year, but the parties backing him the far-right League and the
anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) are increasingly estranged.
According to the Corriere della Sera daily, the prime minister will warn that there would be no point in
continuing with the government unless trust was restored within the coalition.
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The League and M5S have been sparring for months over a diverse range of issues, including migration
policy, soft drugs, tax cuts and infrastructure projects.
If the government were to collapse, there is speculation that parliament could be dissolved in late July
and snap elections held on Sept. 29.
League leader Matteo Salvini would head into the elections with the wind in his sails, after winning a
record 34 per cent in the European Parliament elections.
Any new government would have a problem with public finances, amid mounting concern
in Brussels and financial markets over Italy’s rising debt.