Italian PM Conte to address Senate on Aug 20 over govt crisis

FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte reacts to Italy's ruling coalition breakdown, speaking to journalists at an impromptu, late evening news conference at government house in Rome, Italy, August 8, 2019. REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will address the Senate on Aug. 20 over the political crisis sweeping the government after his coalition partner the far-right League filed a no-confidence motion in the administration.

In a setback for League leader Matteo Salvini, the Senate voted on Tuesday not to hold an immediate no-confidence vote, but instead played for time and decided to allow Conte to speak to the upper house beforehand.

Rightist parties supported Salvini’s request for a debate on Wednesday, but the ruling 5-Star Movement backed by opposition centre-left parliamentarians defeated the bid, thereby seizing the initiative over the timetable of the crisis.

“We close in style, with the promise made to Italians, we will cut 345 lawmakers and then, for the sake of dignity, honesty and coherence, we will go straight to a vote,” Salvini said in the upper house of parliament in Rome.