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SITUATION REPORT

Feb 16, 2017 | 13:55 GMT

Italy: Democratic Party Could Soon Fracture

A major split could soon take place in Italy's Democratic Party over disagreements about the ambitions of former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, La Stampa reported Feb. 16. Renzi, who recently stepped down as party head to trigger new leadership elections in a bid to shore up intraparty support, wants Italy to hold new parliamentary elections, possibly by this summer. A faction of members opposed to this plan has now surfaced. This group wants the government led by current Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni to finish its mandate and hold elections in early 2018. According to leading members from this group, the faction has reached an agreement to create a new political party to the left of the Democratic Party, if Renzi refuses to agree to its position. With the Democratic Party set to hold a party summit over the coming weekend, things could quickly come to a head. The creation of a new, farther left party would lead to an even more fragmented parliament in Italy.

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