Italy: "political agreement" found to form a government without Salvini's League


The 5-Star Movement (anti-system) and the Democratic Party (center-left) have "reached an agreement" on Wednesday to form a new Italian government, which will replace the national-populist alliance of the M5S with the League (far right) of Matteo Salvini.

A "political agreement has been reached with the PD" to form a new majority of government under the leadership of outgoing Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte, announced the leader of the Movement 5 Stars (M5S), Luigi Di Maio, on his release from a meeting with President Sergio Mattarella.

A head of the presidency said that outgoing Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was convened Thursday morning at 9:30 (7:30 GMT), by the head of state for a meeting.

The choice of Giuseppe Conte "will be a guarantee" for the M5S, said Luigi Di Maio, criticizing his ex-ally Matteo Salvini for having early August "cut the current" of the coalition they formed for 14 months and left " 60 million Italians without government ".

The Five Stars were the last political formation to be received Wednesday, after two days of consultations led by Sergio Mattarella.

The M5S, the first party in parliament since the legislative elections of 2018, is central to the formation of a majority.

Before Di Maio, the leader of the PD, Nicola Zingaretti, appeared optimistic after he left the presidential delegation's interview. He had thought it possible to form a "government of change" that would give "the voice of beautiful Italy, the one where hope wins over fear, understanding about resentment and concord over hatred".

The head of the PD had announced the development by the two formations of a "first political contribution to present to the president", namely a draft joint program, after several days of negotiations punctuated by murderous sentences, suspension of sitting then rabibochages.

Parliamentary sources of the Five Stars said "share the point of view" of Mr. Zingaretti and confirmed that on the main themes, both sides "agree".

Zingaretti also said the PD agreed that "the M5S will choose the future prime minister", without however pronouncing Giuseppe Conte's name.

Mr. Conte, very popular in Italy, has won support in the last few days, first from the Europeans at the G7 in Biarritz (France), then on Monday from the American president Donald Trump, who called him "a very talented man" .

The M5S exerted a strong pressure for the maintenance of Mr. Conte, to whom the PD criticized his silence for 14 months against the anti-migrant diktats of Matteo Salvini.

Italy is plunged into a deep political crisis, since the blasting on August 8 by the Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini, leader of the League (far right), the previous coalition formed with the Five Stars, then the resignation August 20, the head of government Giuseppe Conte.

The joint program must be approved by the Five Stars, who want to submit the agreement to their Internet platform of "direct democracy" Rousseau, highly disputed for its lack of transparency and representativeness (100,000 registered only, for more than 10 million voters in the 2018 elections). This vote could take place during the weekend.

A question mark concerns the allocation of ministerial chairs, on which the M5S intends to weigh in view of its relative majority in Parliament from the legislative elections of 2018.

Another question mark, the fate of Deputy Prime Minister Di Maio, laminated by media Salvini in 14 months of alliance, and very weakened in the current crisis.

Salvini scoffed at a government that will be "hostage to ministerial portfolio hunters". But the formation of this majority is a stinging setback for the former strongman of the government.

He denounced a government "formed on the indications of Paris, Berlin and Brussels". "The only cement that unites the PD and the 5 Stars is hatred for the League, the first party in Italy," he said, referring to polls that gave him 36/38 % of voting intentions in early August.

"I feel that there is a goal from far away, that does not come from Italy, to sell off the country and the companies to powers that are not Italian, which would be a lack of resprect for the Italians, "he told reporters after meeting President Mattarella.


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