Renzi calls for new government

ROME (Reuters) – The Italian government is at risk of falling, former Italian Council President Matteo Renzi warned on Friday that he boycotted a government meeting devoted to controversial justice reform.

Italia Viva, his political party, belongs to the coalition currently in power in Rome and which brings together the Democratic Party and the 5 Star Movement (M5S), which does not prevent it from regularly addressing its critics to the government led by Giuseppe Conte .

If the polls give it only about 4% of the voting intentions, the support of its elected representatives is crucial for the survival of the government, especially in the Senate where the margin of the coalition is very thin.

The Italian government approved on Thursday a reform of the regime of prescriptions which notably plans to end the procedures if the decisions are not pronounced in time.

Matteo Renzi, who opposes the reform, challenged Giuseppe Conte to form a new coalition after the President of the Council called for unity and an end to the cacophony.

If Conte "wants to form a new coalition, we will not oppose it," said Matteo Renzi in a video released on Thursday. "We will support you, but we will never be one of those who give up an idea to keep a seat."

Matteo Renzi's party has in fact threatened to present a motion of no confidence against the Minister of Justice Alfonso Bonafede, a respected figure in the M5S.

"If that happened, I would act on it," said Giuseppe Conte, hinting that he could resign if Matteo Renzi followed through on his threat.

"We don't want to replace Italia Viva with another party, but they need to be clear about what they want."

(Gavin Jones and Angelo Amante; French version Nicolas Delame, edited by Jean-Stéphane Brosse)