Italy's Salvini Seeks Stronger Powers Over Control of the Sea

(Bloomberg) -- Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini is taking his next political battle out to sea after suffering a defeat by government coalition partner Five Star Movement this week.

Salvini, the leader of the League party, submitted a proposal for a legal decree to switch powers over the movement of vessels within the nation’s maritime territory from the transportation ministry to the interior ministry that he heads. The transportation ministry is led by Five Star’s Danilo Toninelli.

The plan was immediately rejected by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Five Star’s leader Luigi Di Maio dubbed it a “provocation,” according to newspaper Corriere della Sera. The issue is likely to further intensify tensions within the populist coalition, which in recent days has been fighting over the removal of League adviser Armando Siri for alleged corruption, taxes and the distribution of legal cannabis.

Conte, who doesn’t belong to either party but was promoted by Five Star, has been acting as a mediator between Salvini and Di Maio for most of his 11 months in power. But this week he has been taking the side of Five Star, calling for the resignation of Siri, and siding with Di Maio on tussles over migration and cannabis.

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