The last-ditch effort for a government in Italy

Frederick Owens
May 11, 2018

Italy's anti-establishment 5 Star Movement and the far-right League were reportedly on Thursday close to forming a new coalition government.

The anti-corruption Five Stars, which came in second at 32.5 percent, offered to form a government with the League on condition it ditches scandal-tainted Berlusconi, who has been convicted of tax fraud and is a defendant in various trials concerning alleged orgies at his home while he was still prime minister of Italy.

"Significant steps forward have been made on the composition of the government and on the [nomination] of a prime minister", a joint statement said following a meeting between League leader Matteo Salvini and 5-Star chief Luigi Di Maio, as reported by Reuters.

"It certainly won't be us who imposes vetoes", Berlusconi said in a statement, adding that although he would not support this new coalition in parliament, his partnership with the League would still continue at a local level.

The two groups, which are hostile to European Union budget restrictions and have made electoral pledges that would cost billions of euros to implement, entered into negotiations on Wednesday just as a swift return to the polls looked inevitable. Di Maio said he planned to meet Salvini on Thursday.

Both the League and Five Star are staunchly opposed to a caretaker government and without their support the initiative would not pass a confidence vote in parliament.

Sergio Mattarella, Italy's president, said on Monday he was ready to name a neutral caretaker administration until the end of the year.

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"We are doing everything possible to form a political government and thereby respect the will of the Italians, but if this isn't possible there can be no neutral government", Giorgetti said. But in a valuable go-ahead, he said Forza Italia wouldn't prevent the League from trying.

"A political government is now more probable, and a mild negative market reaction is likely", said Vincenzo Longo, an analyst at IG Markets.

A March 4 parliamentary election that laid bare Italians' disgust with traditional politics, anxiety over the economy and opposition to migrants.

Italy could see repeat elections in July after anti-establishment parties failed to reach an agreement following the inconclusive vote in March.

With Mattarella preparing to nominate a non-partisan figure as prime minister in an effort to break the deadlock, Di Maio and Salvini met in Rome Wednesday for one more attempt to agree on an alliance.

However, Mr Di Maio dismissed Mr Mattarella's proposal and declared that his movement is gearing up for fresh elections.

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