New Italian government put on hold as M5S ask for 'more time'

Pauline Gross
May 16, 2018

Both Di Maio and League leader Matteo Salvini have agreed to abandon their own ambitions to lead the government, but crossed vetoes appear to have scotched an array of other candidates.

The two leaders are trying to find an independent figure from neither party to lead the government, but have so far failed to agree on a mutually-acceptable choice. "Good morning friends!", Salvini said via Twitter in a post featuring a photo of a cup of cappuccino on Tuesday.

On Sunday, it seemed like an EU-scaring deal had been struck between the anti-establishment 5Star Movement and far-right League.

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

"We are making an enormous effort because if I was only thinking in terms of political, party and personal convenience, we would have left a long time ago", Mr. Salvini said at the Monday news conference at the president's Quirinal Palace.

"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. He added that Five Star party members would also be called to vote on...

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After their separate meetings with Mattarella, Di Maio and Salvini denied that disagreements over who should be premier were to blame for the delay in reaching a coalition pact.

But Salvini said disagreements were more about policy than personalities.

Italy has been in political deadlock since an inconclusive March 4 election, which was dominated by concerns over a struggling economy, the refugee crisis and illegal immigration.

Key points of the deal would include scrapping an unpopular pension reform, tougher rules on immigration, tax cuts and renegotiation of European Union treaties, the party said in a statement.

Mr Salvini's League won 17 per cent of votes in March, but it was part of a right-wing alliance including Mr Berlusconi's FI that garnered 37 per cent of the vote.

Their flagship economic measures are also seen as too ambitious and expensive for a heavily indebted country like Italy, which has the second-largest debt in the eurozone after Greece.

Other reports by GizPress

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