Italy’s coalition parties have pushed back against criticism of proposals to issue special government bonds to help pay state debts, highlighting growing tensions within the heart of the cabinet.The so-called “mini-BOT” scheme, named after Italy’s Treasury bills, was drawn up by the far-right, eurosceptic League party and was unexpectedly endorsed by parliament last month in a non-binding vote. Critics say printing small-denomination bills, with no expiry date, would be akin to creating a parallel currency and as such could open the way for Italy to quit the euro.Economy Minister Giovanni Tria, an academic with no political affiliation, condemned the plan on Saturday, saying mini-BOTS would be either illegal or useless. However, both the League and its government partner the 5-Star Movement, hit back, accusing Tria’s ministry of doing nothing to resolve the problem of unpaid state arrears.“They are always silent, still, stationary, then as soon as someone proposes something new they wake up and say “Ah, no, it can’t be done,” said 5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio, who also serves as deputy prime minister. “If the tool to pay companies is not the mini-BOT, then the economy minister can find another one,” he wrote on Facebook at the weekend.Italy’s other deputy prime minister, League leader Matteo Salvini, also issued a statement, saying the economy ministry should realise it was “urgent” to find a way to pay arrears to state suppliers. “It is a question of justice,” he said. The Treasury has said the public administration is clearing a backlog of unpaid debt, pointing to data showing that some 20 million bills were paid in 2018, which, on average, were settled one day inside the legal limit of 60 days. Two years ago, bills were settled with an average delay of 16 days, it has said.Monday Meeting Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who threatened to resign last week unless feuding between the League and 5-Star ended, appeared to side with Tria, telling Il Fatto Quotidiano daily on Saturday that mini-BOTS raised “several difficult issues”.