Europe

Italy's Democrats scramble to keep party together

Leaders of Italy's ruling Democratic Party are scrambling to keep the party together, with former Premier Romano Prodi warning that a threatened schism would be political "suicide" if Italy wants to stem the advances of populist forces in upcoming elections.

A left-leaning faction within the party is threatened to split ahead of parliamentary elections later this year or 2018. Over the weekend, former Premier Matteo Renzi stepped down as party leader in hopes of preventing all-out split. A party meeting Tuesday may determine if the rebellion can be quelled.

In an interview Tuesday with La Repubblica, Prodi said, "In the human condition there's also suicide."

Another former Democratic premier, Enrico Letta, indirectly blamed Renzi for the disarray and in a Facebook post pleaded: "It can't end like this."