Ex-premier Yanks Ministers from Italy’s Coalition Government

A former leader of Italy yanked his party’s ministers on Wednesday from Premier Giuseppe Conte’s government, triggering a political crisis in the middle of a pandemic that could lead to a revamped Cabinet, a different coalition leader or the early election eagerly sought by right-wing opposition parties, the Associated Press reported. Matteo Renzi, who served as premier from Feb. 2014 to Dec. 2016 and leads the small centrist Italy Alive party, had been chafing for weeks at what he saw as Conte’s heavy hand in deciding how some 200 billion euros ($243 billion) in European Union funding would be used to help pull Italy out of years of economic stagnation worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Renzi, while announcing that the farm and family ministers and Cabinet undersecretary were bolting from the 16-month-old center-left government, said he had enough of Conte’s frequent governing through decrees instead of turning to Parliament. Read more.