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EXPLAINER: Italy faces a political crisis amid a pandemic

Added 01-17-21 04:03:02am EST - “Former Italian Premier Matteo Renzi is testing his already low popularity by provoking a political crisis that could bring down Italy's coalition government at a critical juncture in the coronavirus pandemic.” - Washingtontimes.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Washingtontimes.com: “EXPLAINER: Italy faces a political crisis amid a pandemic ”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

MILAN (AP) - Former Italian Premier Matteo Renzi is testing his already low popularity by provoking a political crisis that could bring down Italy’s coalition government at a critical juncture in the coronavirus pandemic.

Renzi orchestrated the resignations of two ministers from his tiny but key Italia Viva party. The outcome of his power play will become clearer this week, when Premier Giuseppe Conte addresses both houses of Parliament. If Conte makes a successful bid for support, he could go on to form what would be his third coalition government since Italy’s 2018 election.

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This is not Renzi’s first foray as an iconoclast shaking up Italian politics. He became premier in 2014 by out-maneuvering and unceremoniously deposing then-fellow Democratic Party member Enrico Letta as Italy’s leader. Renzi himself fell from power nearly three years later after gambling his popularity on a constitutional referendum that failed.

Now, the 46-year-old former Florence mayor might bring down Conte. He broadly accuses the premier of not properly managing the coronavirus crisis. Renzi says he is only following his conscience, at great political cost.

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