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Italian leaders meeting over key confidence vote

ROME — Party whips in Italy’s Senate are hastily returning from vacation for a meeting to determine when a crucial vote of no-confidence will be held on Premier Giuseppe Conte’s populist coalition.

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who declared last week that his League party no longer supports Conte, is pressing for a vote in the next days. He’s calculating that Conte will lose and resign, triggering what he hopes will be elections as early as this fall.

Eager to become premier himself, Salvini wants to go to the polls soon to capitalize on his League’s rising popularity, including the party’s triumph in recent European Parliament elections. He wants the election to take place when his senior coalition partner, the 5-Stars, is tanking in popularity.

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