Salvini excludes alliance with Berlusconi


Matteo Salvini – Cosimo Martemucci / SOPA / SIPA

Commedia dell arte continues. Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has ruled out Friday that the league he is leading is forming a future coalition with the center-right party of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Forza Italia. "I say to Forza Italia's friends who say 'we do not have to combine with the League' (…) we do not need anything or anyone," he said during a rally in Conselve , near Padua, in his stronghold of northern Italy.

On August 8, Salvini broke up the coalition formed by the League and the Five Star movement, at a time when polls predicted that the League, Forza Italia and the far-right party Frères d'Italie could together get enough votes for form a government majority. The League was then credited with 38% of voting intentions, Forza Italia, 7%, and the Brothers of Italy also 7%.

Five Stars poses its conditions

The sovereignist leader called for immediate elections, but was bypassed by a surprise alliance between the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the Democratic Party (center left). On Thursday, outgoing Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte agreed to form a government based on an unprecedented majority between the Social Democrats and the M5S.

But the leader of the 5 Stars (anti-system) movement Luigi Di Maio has conditioned Friday the birth of a government in Italy to the realization of the program of the M5S, under penalty of breaking the agreement concluded Wednesday with the Democratic Party (center-left) . "Our program points are clear, if they do not fit into the government program, we will not be able to start, and then it will be better to return to the polls as soon as possible," Di Maio said Friday. "Either we agree to carry it out, or we can not go further," he still threatened, after meeting with the head of the government appointed Giuseppe Conte.

"Unacceptable Ultimatums"

Di Maio has notably rejected an amendment to the "security decrees" promulgated by the outgoing Minister of the Interior and his former ally the leader of the sovereignists Matteo Salvini. "The problem of immigration is serious, concrete and it must be confronted with competence in the respect of the sensitivities expressed by the public opinion", he said, aware that a good part of the M5S approves the security hardening promoted by Mr. Salvini, during the 14 months of alliance M5S-League.

A senior PD leader, Graziano Delrio, described Di Maio's ultimatums in Conte as "unacceptable", recalling that the Social Democrats "pledged to loyally support Mr. Conte's efforts" to form a government.

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