Saturday, 17 November, 2018

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

Five Star Northern League close in on coalition 6 weeks after election Italy's M5S and League parties poised to name a prime minister
Patty Aguilar | 14 May, 2018, 12:48

Matteo Salvini, head of the nationalist League, had earlier said in a statement he and Five Star Movement (M5S) leader Luigi Di Maio were "writing history" and would call President Sergio Mattarella.

No specific names of candidates were mentioned, but Di Maio said the atmosphere around the negotiations was "excellent". No details of the program were disclosed.

Five Star, founded as a web-based organization in 2009, will ask its supporters for their opinion on the government program they're hashing out, he added.

The Corriere Della Sera reported that a Milan court ordered the immediate "rehabilition" of Mr Berlusconi on Saturday, which "cancels all the effects" of his 2013 tax fraud conviction - including a ban on holding elected office.

Around 70 days after the legislative elections that failed to produce a clear parliamentary majority, it would appear the League and the M5S have found some common ground to form the first anti-establishment government in Italy and western Europe.

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Salvini and Di Maio are scheduled to meet again in Rome on Monday before being received at the Quirinal, the presidential palace. Salvini's center-right alliance led Five Star in the March 4 elections that resulted in a hung parliament. The League's hallmark scheme, a flat tax rate of 15% for companies and individuals, is estimated to reduce tax revenues by €80bn per year.

Di Maio and Salvini could serve as deputy premiers, with Di Maio also as foreign minister and Salvini as interior minister.

Their policies would defy the European Union's rules in order to cut taxes and spend public money on a guaranteed income for the poor - pledges that some economists fear could bankrupt Italy.

It has been speculated that neither Di Maio nor Lega boss Matteo Salvini will take over the post of Italy's head of government, but instead a third, "neutral" person.

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