Italy's rival populist leaders to report on coalition talks

Leroy Wright
May 14, 2018

The progress is likely to clear the way for a coalition government formed of the two parties.

Lega leader Matteo Salvini and M5S leader Luigi Di Maio have both discussed the matter with President Sergio Mattarella, saying they were close to securing a deal on naming next prime minister.

Both ran for premier in March 4 elections for the Italian parliament.

If the head of state accepts the nomination, the position could be filled within days.

Italian media reported that Di Maio had told the president's office on Sunday night they would be ready to submit their plan to Mattarella and name a prime minister on Monday.

Salvini and Di Maio are scheduled to meet again in Rome on Monday before being received at the Quirinal, the presidential palace.

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Salvini has in the past referred to the EU as a "gulag" and struck alliances with anti-union figures such as Viktor Orban and Marine Le Pen.

The anti-establishment 5-Star and the far-right League have made "significant steps" toward forming a government to end nine weeks of political deadlock.

According to reports, the parties have agreed on rolling back increases to the age of retirement, while the M5S is willing to follow the League's hardline anti-immigration policies.

Five Star has also called for a universal basic income scheme for the unemployed, while the League supports a flat income tax.

Five Star won more support than any other single party with 33 percent of the vote.

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