Italian Education Minister resigns over lack of funding for ministry


Italian Education Minister Lorenzo Fioramonti of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement has announced his resignation earlier today, after failing to obtain from the government billions of euros he said were needed to improve the country’s schools and universities.

The minister wrote on Facebook that his ministry is underfunded.

He also informed Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of his decision on Tuesday, saying he had taken up the portfolio to reverse the trend that has for decades put Italian schools, higher education and research in conditions of great suffering.

Fioramonti said shortly after the government of 5-Star and the center-left Democratic Party was formed in September that he would quit unless education spending was raised by 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in the 2020 budget.

Few believed him, even as the budget continued its passage through parliament and it became clear the government had little intention of hiking taxes or cutting spending to find the funds he demanded.

The budget was approved on Monday ahead of a Dec. 31 deadline.

Fioramonti said he would still support the government in parliament, where he is a lower house deputy.

Italy spends 3.6% of gross domestic product on primary to university education, compared with an average of 5% among 32 countries in a report by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development.

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