Italy's M5S leader asks for "a few more days" to form government

May 17, 2018, 01:03
Italy's M5S leader asks for

The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and far-right League parties said on Monday that they are in the final stages of thrashing out an "historic" coalition deal, which could see a government in place by the end of the week.

"The president agreed that they would get in touch when they are ready", said the source, after the leaders of both parties met Mattarella to tell him they had not yet hammered out the details of a joint programme.

And he has never broken ranks with former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who a few days ago unlocked the possibility of a deal by agreeing to step back for the time being.

The basic income scheme is forecast to cost £15billion per year, while the tax reform will reduce government income by £70 billion.

In a no-deal scenario, Mattarella has said he would appoint a "neutral government" to take care of urgent business - namely an European Union summit in late June on migration, budget and banking reforms - and to organize new elections in July or September-October.

M5S leader Luigi Di Maio speaks to press after meeting with Italy's president.

"We conveyed to the president the need for a few more days to finalize for good a discussion on [policy] issues so that we can then give our country a government of change", M5S leader Luigi Di Maio said.

He said the League wanted a "free hand" to pursue hard-line measures against illegal immigrants and expected the new government to stand up to Brussels in defence of national industries and against rules on budget discipline. Salvini said the League will hold a similar consultation with its electoral base, organizing an informal referendum in large Italian squares this weekend.

Conte is a lawyer and a private law professor in the University of Florence.

But shortly after Sapelli spoke, a 5-Star source denied that he was their pick for the top office.

The two aim to forge a government with their forces, who together account for roughly half of the lawmakers elected in the March 4 parliamentary election.

Salvini's League won 17% of votes, but it was part of a right-wing alliance including Berlusconi's Forza Italia that garnered 37% of the vote.

They have been negotiating since Thursday to try to settle on a "contract" of mutually acceptable policy commitments.

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