As Italy’s government coalition is crumbling, the country’s Interior Minister and leader of one of the major parties, Matteo Salvini, was travelling to Italy’s beaches, to gather support ahead of new elections that have become increasingly more likely.
The Italian government of the League, and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, has been riven by internal strife in recent weeks, and is to officially begin its summer break at the end of the week.
But Salvini, who is head of the far-right League party, and also serves as deputy prime minister, is about to begin what the Italian media are calling his “beach tour.” New elections in the near future are widely anticipated at this point, reported the Guardian on Wednesday August 7th.
The news outlet further reported that Salvini replied to the description by saying: “Beach tour? They’re public meetings that the citizens of the territories have asked for,” during an interview with Radio 24. “Alas, I’m not going to be playing beach volleyball.”
Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, meanwhile, met with President Sergio Mattarella on Thursday, August 7th, after Salvini increased pressure on the ruling coalition, reportedly giving the premier a Monday deadline to shake up his cabinet, according to Bloomberg report, referencing news agency, Ansa.
Mattarella alone has the power to dissolve parliament. The meeting between the two took about an hour, was described as “informative,” and did not contain mentions of a government crisis or a Conte resignation, Ansa said.
Only earlier this week, on Monday, August 5th, Salvini and his League party gained a victory, when the Italian government won a confidence vote in the Senate on a decree targeting charities operating migrant rescue ships.
Reuters reported that the decree was drawn up by Salvini himself, to toughen sanctions on charity ships that seek to bring migrants rescued in the Mediterranean to Italy.