天天快3规律_Migrant standoff dominates Italian political crisis

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PM to face no confidence vote, while critics accuse Salvini of exploiting issue to trigger election

Sp天天快3规律Anish migrant r天天快3规律escue ship 天天快3规律open Arms is seen close to the Italian shore in Lampedusa, Ital天天快3规律y, on Monday. [Photo/Agencies]

A migrant standoff has taken center stage in Italy's unfolding political crisis as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte prepares to face a no-confidence vote in Parliament on Tuesday.

Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini on Saturday agreed to let 27 unaccompanied teenagers leave a migrant rescue ship amid a political row between his far-right League party and its coalition partner, Five Star.

The minors were allowed to disembark on the Italian island of Lampedusa after more than 16 days at sea, but more than 400 migrants remain on board the Spanish rescue ship Open Arms.

The charity Open Arms said the remaining adults and two accompanied children on the boat were living in "untenable" conditions.

Ministers on Friday refused to sign off Salvini's orders banning the Open Arms ship from docking in Lampedusa, and Conte has called Salvini "obsessed" with keeping migrants out of Italian ports.

If Conte loses the confidence vote, the government would have to be dissolved by the president, Sergio Mattarella, and elections held within 45 to 70 days. Mattarella could also choose to install a technical government.

On Aug 8, in an attempt to capitalize on his surging popularity, Salvini announced his alliance with Five Star was no longer workable and called for elections that could crown him as prime minister.

The League put forward a motion of no-confidence in the government, but Five Star and the opposition Democratic Party refused to debate it and their politicians discussed forming a coalition among themselves to sideline Salvini.

A potential alliance between factions from the center-left Democratic Party and Five Star could attempt to carve out a caretaker government in order to pass the 2020 budget, with a view of delaying elections until early next year.

The move is being led by former prime minister Matteo Renzi of the Democratic Party but has been rejected by its leader, Nicola Zingaretti, and Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio. Renzi is pointing to the dire situation of the Italian economy and wants to see budget cuts before year's end to avoid a recession.

Italy's anti-establishment Five Star said on Sunday that Salvini was no longer a credible partner, apparently closing the door on any possibility of resurrecting the ruling coalition established after elections last year.

The Five Star Movement has been hurt by its tie-up with the League, halving its voter support since the two parties joined forces in June last year, according to opinion polls. The League has overtaken it to become Italy's most popular party.

The ruling coalition has been on shaky ground for months, with the League and Five Star openly in dispute about everything from the political crisis in Venezuela, to infrastructure projects, to financial reforms.

Prime Minister Conte is set to address Parliament on Tuesday before he faces the confidence vote.