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Italian Deputy Prime Minister and League Chief Matteo Salvini. REUTERS / Yara Nardi

Matteo Salvini, the strongman of the Italian government and leader of the League, called for early elections on Thursday (August 8th), shattering the populist coalition with his ally of the 5 Stars Movement.

With our correspondent in Rome, Anne Le Nir

The populist coalition in power has been under pressure since the European elections, marked by the victory of the League which has doubled its votes compared to the legislative elections of 2018, while the 5 Stars Movement (M5S) has halved them. Strong polls that credit his party from 37 to 39% of voting intentions, Matteo Salvini has decided to break the teasing alliance with Luigi Di Maio, after the rejection in the Senate of a motion of the M5S against the project Lyon-Turin , voted just before the summer closing of the rooms on August 7th.

Matteo Salvini has officially claimed Thursday night in Pescara, seaside resort of Abruzzo where he held a campaign rally, a return to the polls at the earliest. Because he is tired of his M5S allies who, he says, block the country. " I can not stand no more. No to this, no to that. We must act, build, work. We do not need ministers who block public worksites, the Deputy Prime Minister said. And so, give the floor back to the Italians. We are at the service of the Italian people! ".

Conte asks Salvini to explain himself

The head of the League said he intended to run as a candidate for the post of prime minister. But it will take a little patience because the President of the Council, Giuseppe Conte, explained during a press conference held at the seat of the government after Salvini's speech that the Minister of the Interior will have to introduce himself in front of the Parliament " to explain to the voters what drives him to abruptly interrupt the activity of the government ."

The date of the early reopening of the Chambers for this debate has not yet been communicated.