Matteo Salvini has resigned as Interior Minister of Italy, and a new government will be formed, a coalition between the populist 5-Star Movement (M5S) and the leftist Partito Democratico (PD).
Mr. Salvini initiated the current political crisis by calling for a no-confidence vote in the government in which he served, the coalition between the Lega (his party) and the M5S. Either he miscalculated, thinking that his move would result in new elections (which the Lega would almost certainly win), or he was making a strategic move, expecting a landslide for his party in a future election.
The former seems the most likely explanation. His reactions since the M5S and the PD came to terms seem those of a man who was both surprised and dismayed by what happened. However, that may have simply been theater on his part — the outcome may be exactly what he had been expecting all along.
There’s no doubt that he’s right about the influence of Brussels in the formation of the M5S-PD coalition. The mandarins of the EU may not have created the coalition, but I’m certain that they lobbied for it.
The new government will be staffed by a set of unlikely bedfellows. To put it in an American context: it’s as if Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders had formed a working alliance. The new cabinet will be as unstable as an atom of francium-223.
The two videos below show the reactions of Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni (leader of the Fratelli d’Italia, and a natural ally of the Lega). Many thanks to FouseSquawk for the translations, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling.
Mr. Salvini’s response:
Ms. Meloni’s response:
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has expressed his continuing support for Matteo Salvini via an official letter. Below is the English announcement and content of the letter as published on the official website of the Hungarian Government (hat tip László):
Viktor Orbán’s message to Matteo Salvini: regardless of political developments, we look upon you as a brother-in-arms
August 29, 2019
At noon on Thursday Bertalan Havasi, the Prime Minister’s press chief, informed the Hungarian news agency MTI that Prime Minister and President of Fidesz Viktor Orbán has written a letter to Matteo Salvini — the leader of the Italian party Lega, and until today a member of Italy’s government. In his letter Mr. Orbán expressed his appreciation and gratitude for the work recently done by Mr. Salvini for Italy and the whole of Europe, including Hungary. Mr. Orbán wrote, “I wish to assure you that we Hungarians will never forget that you were the first Western European leader who sought to stop the influx of illegal migrants into Europe across the Mediterranean.”
In his letter to Mr. Salvini, the Hungarian prime minister continued: “Regardless of internal political developments in Italy and the fact that we belong to different European party families, we look upon you as a brother-in-arms in our battles for the preservation of European Christian heritage and the halting of migration. I wish you much success and good health in carrying out your future tasks.”
(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)
See also a copy of the original letter posted on Facebook by a Hungarian minister, Katalin Novák.
Video transcript #1: