May 7, 2019 / 3:22 PM / 2 months ago

Italian government to continue even if cabinet votes to oust junior minister - Salvini

FILE PHOTO: Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini speaks during a joint news conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Budapest, Hungary May 2, 2019. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - The Italian government will carry on even if the cabinet votes to oust a junior League minister, Deputy Prime Minister and League leader Matteo Salvini said on Tuesday, looking to quell fears of an imminent political crisis.

The League and its coalition partner, the 5-Star Movement, are at loggerheads over the fate of Transport Undersecretary Armando Siri, who is close to Salvini and has been placed under official investigation in a graft scandal.

Siri denies wrongdoing, but 5-Star says he must leave the government. The League wants him to stay and the matter is due to be discussed by the cabinet on Wednesday.

“If it comes down to a vote (in the cabinet) and they sack a person who has not even been heard by magistrates, then they will have to responsibility for that. We will vote against this and move on,” said Salvini, rejecting speculation the government could collapse over the issue.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Giselda Vagnoni; editing by Crispian Balmer

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