Italy’s 5-Stars thin parliamentary ranks with 4 expulsions

December 31, 2018 GMT

MILAN (AP) — Italy’s 5-Star Movement has expelled four lawmakers from the party, including a former Coast Guard commander who once attracted publicity for ordering the captain of a sinking cruise ship to get back on board.

The party, a partner in Italy’s coalition government, is known for its hard-line treatment of members caught veering from the 5-Star line.

The party announced the expulsions on Monday. They included a senator, Gregorio De Falco, who didn’t shy away from criticizing the migration policies of the populist government the 5-Star Movement formed with the League.

As a Coast Guard commander, De Falco received international attention fame when he ordered the captain of the Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino, to return to the sinking ship he left with passengers still on board. Thirty-two passengers and crew members died in the January 2012 disaster.