Italy’s prime minister resigned on Tuesday, effectively collapsing the country’s government.

Giuseppe Conte became Italy's prime minister in 2018. He hadn't before held political office and isn't a member of a political party. But he was selected as a compromise choice between two parties in a tenuous alliance. They are the Movimento 5 Stelle (Five Star Movement) and Lega Nord (Northern League). Both parties espouse criticisms of immigration and the European Union.

The tenuous alliance may have reached a breaking point. And Conte has lost his position.

Disagreements recently reached a boiling point

The final star that broke the coalition seems to be a stranded migrant ship. For 19 days, the ship was afloat off the Italian coast. CNN reports that at least 10 people jumped overboard. A court ruled that the boat should be granted passage ashore. Matteo Salvini initially staunchly refused, The leader of Lega, Salvini is the deputy prime minister and the minister of the interior.

Conte and the M5S took a different stance, inflaming tensions. Salvini eventually reluctantly acquiesced.

Parties had already been especially at odds over a possible high-speed rail from Italy to France. It would link Italy's Turin and France's Lyon. Lega favors the idea, while M5S does not.

Conte was likely about to lose a vote of no-confidence, led by Salvini and Lega. Instead, he opted to issue his resignation.

Many believe Salvini, who wants new elections, is angling to be prime minister himself. But Euronews reports he could be the biggest loser if things go in a different direction.

New elections might not be necessary

Italian President Sergio Mattarella has begun trying to form a new government together. It is possible under a new coalition that Conte could be re-installed as prime minister. He currently remains in the position as a caretaker.

It's also possible that Lega and M5S could come to a new agreement with a new prime minister.

Many eyes have been focused on M5S and Partito Democratico, or the Democratic Party. The two parties have very different policies on immigration and the EU. But in other aspects, they have more common ground than M5S and Lega do. Possible prime ministers in this coalition include Conte and Robert Fico. Not to be confused with the former Slovakian prime minister, Fico is the president of Italy's Chamber of Deputies.

The position is comparable to the speaker of the house in other countries. He is a member of M5S.

Forza Italia, or Forward Italy, could also be involved in a possible coalition. If no coalition is formed, new elections would have to be held.

Aside from M5S and Lega joining together again, it would likely be new elections or bust for Salvini. Without his party in a governing coalition, he loses out on being a Cabinet minister, let alone prime minister.

The party itself would also have much less influence on government policy.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more