Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Economy | By

Italy's M5S and League parties poised to name a prime minister

Italy's M5S and League parties poised to name a prime minister

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.

Both leaders insisted Monday that no names within their future cabinet would be made public before they had been approved by Mattarella.

They also want to scrap a 2011 pension reform and lower the age at which Italians can retire, costing around €15 billion. However, Mattarella warned over the weekend that he would not be a "pushover".

The media outlet noted that Mattarella's meeting with M5S was scheduled for 04:30 p.m. (14:00 GMT), while the president would hold a meeting with the League at 06:00 p.m.

Standing in the way will likely be European Union budget officials who will say that introducing both schemes will raise Italy's debt, which already stands at 130 per cent of GDP, way above agreed levels.

On Monday, Salvini claimed to be speaking on behalf on the 12 million people who voted for the right-wing coalition in March, despite entering into negotiations with M5S without his allies, and Berlusconi saying his party would not back an M5S-League alliance in parliament.

"We are writing what will be the government programme for the next five years and it's very important for us to finalise it as best as possible, so we have asked the president for a few more days to definitively close the discussion", Di Maio told reporters after meeting with Mattarella.

"On immigration the League and Five Star's positions start from notable distances", Mr. Salvini said.

"It's all true. I have been contracted by both political parties and I have said I am totally willing".

There was speculation that the top job could be offered to Giulio Sapelli, an economist and university professor, or Giuseppe Conte, a law professor at Florence University.

"With a rocky coalition joining under the premise of imposing "short-termist" measures that are likely to ramp up Italian debt obligations, it comes as no surprise that markets are taking this "good news" with a pinch of salt".

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.

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

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