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“Whatever happens, I hope Italians will soon realise that there is only one solution: Italy must leave the EU,” Mr Philippot, a die-hard eurosceptic and leader of the far-right The Patriots movement, said on Twitter. Mr Philippot quit France’s far-right Rassemblement national (RN) party after its leader, Marine Le Pen, played down her anti-EU rhetoric and dropped plans for a Frexit after losing the 2017 presidential race to Emmanuel Macron, a staunch europhile.
His comments came after the leader of Italy’s ruling far-right League party, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, pulled the plug on the government on Thursday, plunging the euro zone’s third-largest economy into deep political turmoil.
Mr Salvini declared the populist government to be unworkable after months of public feuding between the League and its coalition partner, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, and said the only way forward was to hold fresh elections.
Mr Salvini has accused 5-Star of holding up the key policies the country needs to boost its sluggish economy.
“We need to unblock, to build, to work — enough is enough, we must go to elections,” he told reporters in Pescara, on the Adriatic coast.
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Tensions erupted on Wednesday after 5-Star and the League voted against each other in parliament over the future of a project for a high-speed train link with France.
The League says the project will create jobs, while 5-Star argues it is a waste of money.
Mr Salvini said in a statement he had told Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who belongs to neither coalition party, that the alliance with 5-Star had collapsed after barely a year in power and that “we should quickly give the choice back to the voters”.
Five-Star has more parliamentary seats than the League, but Mr Salvini’s party now has twice as much voter support, according to opinion polls.
“Whatever happens, I hope Italians will soon realise that there is only one solution: Italy must leave the EU,” Mr Philippot, a die-hard eurosceptic and leader of the far-right The Patriots movement, said on Twitter.