Italy's League leader opens door to government deal with 5-Star

By REUTERS
March 14, 2018 23:43
1 minute read.
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ROME - The leader of Italy's eurosceptic League said on Wednesday a government deal with the anti-system 5-Star Movement was possible after an inconclusive election, raising the prospect of two radical groups running the country.

The March 4 vote ended in gridlock, with 5-Star and the League emerging as the top two parties in parliament, but no bloc or group securing a majority to govern alone.

Italy's head of state is due to start consultations next month to try to end the stalemate in the euro zone's third largest economy, with the various parties positioning themselves for potentially fraught and lengthy negotiations.

"Barring the PD, everything is possible," League leader Matteo Salvini told reporters, referring to the center-left Democratic Party (PD), which was defeated after a difficult five years in office spent trying to revive the sluggish economy.

The PD itself has pledged to move to opposition ranks.

5-Star, born as a protest movement in 2009, long resisted any suggestion of forming alliances, but its leader Luigi Di Maio said on Wednesday that it now wants to talk to other parties to fix a common program.

"Before we talk about who, let's talk about what, let's pursue a program centered on the people outside the corridors of power," he said at a business association event in Milan.

Salvini's overture to the 5-Star is anathema to his coalition partner, four-time prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, whose Forza Italia (Go Italy!) party trailed the League in the election and now plays second fiddle in their conservative bloc.

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