Whatever hopes there were that a radically unconventional government might jolt Italy out of its economic torpor have mostly given way to bitter resignation that, in this country, nothing ever seems to change.

More than a year since Italy handed power to a coalition of two fractious partners — the right-wing populist League and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement — the economy is suffering the strain of ceaseless political acrimony.

And now the histrionics appear on the verge of producing yet more chaos and uncertainty, as Matteo Salvini, leader of the League, on Thursday declared irreconcilable differences with 5-Star and called

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