Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte resigns

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte has resigned, according to the country’s president.

Mr Conte survived two confidence votes in parliament last week, but then lost his absolute majority in the Senate after centrist ally and former PM Matteo Renzi defected.

This has made it much more difficult for the premier to pass legislation or make decisions on the COVID-19 crisis, which has devastated Italy’s long-suffering economy.

The country’s president, Sergio Mattarella, will start consultations with the leaders of other parties on Wednesday, according to a statement, adding that Mr Conte had been asked to stay on in a caretaker capacity.

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