Government with League possible in Italy, says Five-Star leader

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Rome, April 20 (IANS/AKI) Italy’s populist Five-Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio on Thursday signalled his willingness to govern with Matteo Salvini’s far-right, eurosceptic League party alone, with possible backing from Salvini’s centre-right alliance partners including Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative Forza Italia party.

“The government will be formed on the basis of a contract between two people – me and Salvini,” he said after talks with Senate Speaker Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati in Rome on a possible coalition government with the centre-right.

“I am open to everything. We will do our level best but there are limits on what we can accept.

“But we are prepared to consider as non-hostile the support of Forza Italia and (the rightwing) Brothers of Italy party,” said Di Maio.

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The main stumbling blocks in talks to form a coalition government following the inconclusive March 4 national polls has been Di Maio’s refusal to govern with Berlusconi, who has a tax fraud conviction and is on trial for bribery, and the Five-Star leader’s insistence that he must be premier.

Five-Star emerged as Italy’s biggest party after the election while the centre-right bloc lead by Salvini has most parliamentary seats.

Five-Star and the League made strong gains in the national election, although no party or bloc won an outright majority.

The Democratic Party could play kingmaker in the hung parliament but has vowed to go into opposition after the centre-left coalition came third in the election and it scored its worst-ever result.

–IANS/AKI

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