Italy news: Matteo Salvini takes a swipe at Luigi Di Maio’s Five Star | World | News


Mr Salvini, the leader of far-right party Lega, said on Monday he had asked Italian President Sergio Mattarella to give him a mandate to try and form a government to end the political deadlock that followed the election held on March 4.

But his demands could put an end to coalition talks with rival parties and could force the President to call new elections following months of turmoil.

Speaking to reporters after meeting with President Mattarella, Mr Salvini said: “We offered the President my willingness to create a centre-right wing government that starts solving the problems of this country.

“Let him give us the chance to find a majority in Parliament.” 

However, the centre-right is some 50 seats short of majority and would need external support to run the country.

His words, which follows a closed-door summit with centre-right wing personalities including EU Parliament chief Antonio Tajani, can be seen as the end of the dialogue between Mr Salvini and Five Star Movement’s leader Luigi Di Maio, who kept the possibility of starting an alliance with him open until earlier today, during his meeting with President Mattarella.

But Mr Di Maio had previously told Lega leader that, to create a government together, Mr Salvini should have scrapped his electoral alliance with Forza Italia’s leader Silvio Berlusconi, who together with Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers Of Italy helped the centre-right wing alliance to gain more votes than anyone else.

The leader of Lega, who alone gained 17 per cent of the votes, confirmed today he would not leave his allies behind.

President Mattarella is currently holding the fourth round of consultation with all political forces. 

Sources within the palace warned if political parties cannot find an agreement, the President will kick start plans to create a technocrat government to put through pieces of legislation he deems as necessary – a new electoral law and the annual Budget – before asking Italians to vote again.

But in the likely event, as Five Star and Lega are known to be hostile to the idea, that Parliament were to fail to support this unelected government, he is said to be ready to call for new election as soon as in July.

The March 4 ballot produced a hung parliament, with the centre-right bloc taking 36 per cent of the votes, and the Five Star emerging as the biggest single party with 32 per cent.

The country’s economy has been suffering this political uncertainty.

The national statistics institute ISTAT said in its monthly bulletin on Monday: “Signs of a slowdown are intensifying, suggesting a scenario of weaker economic growth.” 

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