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Italy's League junior minister resigns after conviction, Salvini accepts

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Italy's League junior minister resigns after conviction, Salvini accepts
Italian Deputy Prime Minister and leader of far-right League party Matteo Salvini holds a crucifix as he speaks during his European Parliament election night event in Milan, Italy, May 27, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane   -   Copyright  GUGLIELMO MANGIAPANE(Reuters)
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ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s League leader and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini accepted on Thursday the resignation of a junior minister convicted for embezzlement, in a move likely to avoid a potential hurdle for the ruling coalition.

Deputy Transport Minister Edoardo Rixi was sentenced to a prison term of three years and five months. The League’s coalition partner, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, had said Rixi should quit if found guilty.

Shortly after his conviction Rixi announced he wanted to step down and Salvini welcomed his decision.

“I accept his resignation only to protect him and the activity of the government from senseless attacks and polemics”, Salvini said in a statement.

(Reporting by Angelo Amante, editing by Gavin Jones)

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