Italy’s government risks collapse over EU Recovery Fund

Matteo Renzi

Italia Viva (IV) leader Matteo Renzi on Monday warned PM Giuseppe Conte against trying to end tension within the coalition supporting his government via a showdown in a parliamentary vote, ANSA reported. Ex-premier Renzi has repeatedly threatened to pull his centrist party out of the governing alliance due to disagreements about how the executive intends to spend €209bn Italy will get in grants and low-interest loans from the EU Recovery Fund.

Renzi is particularly unsatisfied with the €9bn for the Health Service, which he regards as insufficient.

Andrea Orlando of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) believed that it would not be possible to have a new government supported by the same coalition under a different premier and suggested that early elections would be needed if the executive collapses. The ruling alliance also features the 5-Star Movement (M5S) and the left-wing LeU group.

Meanwhile the Italian President Sergio Mattarella urged both the cabinet and parliament to approve the EU Recovery plan before any eventual political showdown between the ruling coalition parties, a political source said on Monday.

At a cabinet meeting slated for Tuesday or Wednesday Conte will ask ministers to support his recovery plan. If Italia Viva’s two ministers refuse to back the package, the prime minister would come under pressure to resign and open a full-blown political crisis, which could lead to the creation of a new government or even early elections. Mattarella could try to put together a government of national unity that would draw in opposition parties from the centre-right bloc, Reuters reported.

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