Renzi announces Bellanova-Bonetti quitting, opens crisis

Claims crisis has already been open for months

(ANSA) - ROME, JAN 13 - Ex-premier and centrist Italia Viva (IV) leader Matteo Renzi on Wednesday opened a government crisis by announcing that IV's two ministers, farm chief Teresa Bellanova and equal opportunities head Elena Bonetti, were quitting Premier Giuseppe Conte's administration.
    Renzi said IV had not opened the crisis, which had already been open "for months".
    He said he had the utmost faith in President Sergio Mattarella, who is the arbiter of the crisis.
    "The king is naked, politics is not a reality show," Renzi added.
    Mattarella earlier on Wednesday stressed to Conte the need to emerge rapidly from uncertainty amid the alarming situation due to the COVID pandemic during talks on the looming government crisis, sources at the presidential palace said.
    They said Conte had talks on cabinet's approval of the COVID Recovery Plan and the state of relations within the ruling coalition, after Renzi repeatedly threatened to pull IV out of the government over alleged flaws in the government's 222.9-billion-euro Recovery Plan.
    Political observers say Conte may resign, there may be a new Conte-led government or merely a reshuffle, or a snap election where the right-wing opposition is favoured. (ANSA).


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