Italy’s prime minister resigned on Tuesday after launching a blistering attack on his own interior minister, Matteo Salvini, accusing him of sinking the ruling coalition and endangering the economy for personal and political gain. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, addressing parliament after it was recalled from its summer recess to decide the future of the 14-month-old government, accused the far-right League party chief Salvini of seeking to cash in on his rising popularity.
Matteo Salvini, Italy’s deputy prime minister and the leader of the far-right League party, has called for a snap election, urging the prime minister to reconvene parliament to confirm that the coalition government is no longer viable. The dramatic move on Thursday came after months of fighting between the League and its coalition partners, the anti-establishement Five Star Movement (M5S).
Anti-terrorism police in northern Italy have seized an air-to-air missile and other sophisticated weapons during raids on far-right extremist groups. Three people were arrested, two of them near Forli airport. Neo-Nazi propaganda was also seized. A police statement said the arrests were part of an investigation, started about a year ago, into far-right groups “who have fought in Ukraine’s Donbass region against the separatists”.
Pressure has mounted on Italy after the UN and the European Commission called on Rome to end its stand-off with a migrant rescue boat. The Sea-Watch 3 reached the Italian island of Lampedusa on Wednesday with 42 rescued migrants. But charity Sea-Watch says authorities have prevented it from docking and no other country has come forward to help. It comes as Italy’s ruling parties attempt to clamp down on migrant rescue boats entering Italian waters.
The remains of Genoa’s Morandi Bridge were blown up in a controlled explosion on Friday, nearly a year after the structure collapsed in a disaster that killed 43 people. 4,000 people were evacuated from their homes to clear the area, AFP reported, and explosives were attached to the legs and body of the bridge, which went down in about seven seconds in a flurry of smoke.
A cruise ship crashed into a Venice dock on Sunday, hitting a moored tourist boat and sending onlookers running for safety in what one witness said resembled a “scene from a disaster movie.” The cruise ship operator, MSC Cruises, said in a statement that the vessel “experienced a technical issue” while heading towards the terminal for mooring. The country’s Environment Minister, Sergio Costa, said on Twitter that the incident is a “confirmation of what we have been saying for a long time: Cruise ships must not sail down the Giudecca (canal).
A 13-year-old boy hailed as a hero for helping saving his classmates when they had been abducted by a bus driver will be granted Italian citizenship. Ramy Shehata, who was born in Italy to Egyptian parents, managed to make a phone call to his father to alert him of the bus hijacking on the outskirts of Milan last week. Ramy hid his phone while others were confiscated, and called his father, speaking in Arabic and pretending he was praying. The man then called police, who were able to free the 51 children before the bus was set on fire.
A bus carrying 51 schoolchildren was hijacked by its driver and set alight near Milan in Italy. The children, some of them tied up, were rescued through smashed windows at the back of the bus and no-one was badly hurt. Fourteen people suffered smoke inhalation. The driver, a 47-year-old Italian citizen originally from Senegal, has been arrested. “No-one will survive,” the driver was alleged to have said.
An overnight earthquake, triggered by Mount Etna’s eruption two days ago, caused injuries and damage in Eastern Sicily early Wednesday morning. The volcano has been spewing ash and lava has flowed down its slopes since it began erupting on Monday. Mount Etna is the most active stratovolcano in the world, according to the United Nations, which has named it a World Heritage Site. Etna has one of the world’s longest documented history of eruptions, stretching back to 1,500 B.C.
The fear reaction to the political upheaval in Italy spread to the stock market on Tuesday causing Italian bonds to suffer their worst one-day drop in 26 years. Stocks also dropped in the US due to the concerns over Italy’s uncertain political future. The worldwide drop reflects concern about Italy’s possible exit from the Eurozone.