ITALY PM THREATENS TO QUIT Tells warring coalition to end feud


Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte threatened to quit, telling the ruling coalition’s two feuding parties either to put an end to their brawling or take the country back to elections.

Conte, a technocrat leader with no political support base, called a news conference to make the extraordinary ultimatum after months of bickering inside his year-old coalition of right-wing populists and anti-establishment lawmakers.

The feud intensified following European parliamentary elections last month when the League won 34 percent of the vote, leap-frogging above 5-Star and fuelling speculation that League leader Matteo Salvini could ditch his coalition partners.

During the recent government in-fighting, investors sold off Italian bonds, raising concerns over Rome’s ability to manage its enormous public debts of around 2.3 trillion euros ($2.6 trillion).

Italy also faces the possibility of European Union disciplinary procedures this week for a breach of EU fiscal rules, which Salvini says are outdated and harmful to Italy’s economy.