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Italy's Renzi pulls his party from ruling coalition

FILE PHOTO: Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks at a news conference regarding his proposal for a transitional Italian government in Rome, Italy, August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Alberto Lingria/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s former premier Matteo Renzi said on Wednesday he was pulling his party’s ministers from the cabinet, effectively leaving the ruling coalition without a majority in parliament.

His decision, announced at a news conference, throws Italy into political chaos even as the country is struggling to contain the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic.

Renzi, who heads the tiny Italia Viva party, had long threatened to quit the government, complaining about Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s plans over how to spend billions of euros promised by the European Union to relaunch the economy.

Reporting by Gavin Jones; Editing by Crispian Balmer