Italy's Fanciful Coalition Draft Draws Investors' Incredulity-For Now

Italy's Fanciful Coalition Draft Draws Investors' Incredulity-For Now

The European Union is meddling in Italy's domestic politics, according to League leader Matteo Salvini.

5-Star's parliamentary party leader Danilo Toninelli told state television Rai: "The only way to get a serious government is to return to the polls".

The two parties have been locked in talks to reach a coalition government agreement and bring an end to two months of political deadlock following inconclusive elections.

The far-right leader of the Lega, Matteo Salvini, and the leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), Luigi Di Maio, talked about European Union "interference" on Tuesday.

President Sergio Mattarella, who has repeatedly stressed the importance of maintaining a strong, pro-European stance, may also be dismayed.

They have both vowed to scrap an unpopular pension reform - a move that would punch a 15-billion-euro (RM70 million) hole in state coffers.

With frustration growing, League leaders turned their fire on European Union financial restrictions which, if followed to the letter, would make it impossible for the anti-immigrant party to enact its big-spending electoral promises.

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Di Maio said the joint program the two groups are drawing up is "almost completed", and called on the League not to pull out at the last moment.

Both M5S and League have a deep history of Euroscepticism and while 5-Star has moderated its position considerably in the past year, rowing back on a previous plan to hold a referendum on Italy's membership of the currency bloc, the League still wants to leave the Eurozone as soon as is politically feasible. This would lower Italy's public debt, now at 130% of national output. Neither Mr Di Maio nor Mr Salvini want the job of prime minister. "We can not go to Brussels with positions that are far apart", he said.

For instance, the EU's Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said he hopes Italy's policy on asylum seekers does not change under the new government.

They are still discussing how they want to tighten immigration which they denounce in the leaked draft as "unsustainable for Italy".

Di Maio backed his potential coalition partner, saying the nascent government was "receiving constant attacks, even today by some eurocrats who weren't elected by anyone". The policy program will probably be published Thursday, 5-Star said.

5-Star and the League said in a joint statement issued late on May 15 that the Huffington Post article referenced an old document that has since been considerably modified. If they fail to do so, fresh elections look inevitable.

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