Italy’s far-right calls for protests against new govt
Far-right Italian prime ministerial hopeful Matteo Salvini’s allies have called for protests to oppose the formation of a new government excluding him from power.
The Five Star Movement (M5S), Salvini’s former coalition partners, appears to be edging towards forming an administration with the centre-left Democratic Party.
Italy is the third biggest economy in the eurozone. It has the second biggest debt in proportion to its output at 132 per cent.
The PD is reportedly prepared to agree to the M5S demand that the former prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, who resigned last week, should be reinstated. He was initially selected as an apolitical, compromise candidate between Salvini’s Lega party and M5S.
The PD, which is led by Nicola Zingaretti, appeared to indicate that it had dropped a veto on Conte serving again as prime minister. But the PD, which ruled Italy before last year’s election, had not said it would support his reappointment, La Repubblica reported.
President Sergio Mattarella will meet the party leaders tomorrow (Wednesday) to see if a majority in parliament can be formed.
It remains to be seen if a compromise between the two parties – which have both pledged not to work with each other in the past – can be reached before tomorrow’s deadline.
Sticking points include M5S’s demand to cut the number of MPs from 345.
The two parties are also expected to clash over the 2020 budget, which will have to comply with EU deficit rules.
PD will demand a reversal of Salvini’s anti-migrant measures.
The Lega says the party won 34 per cent of the vote in May’s European parliamentary election. M5S received just 17 per cent support.
The anti-migrant Lega has, however, suffered a decline in popularity since it initiated a political crisis during the holiday season.
“Let’s hope that if a Democratic Party-Five Star government is formed, the people will rise up as soon as possible,” said Alessandra Locatelli, an outgoing Lega minister.
“A government made up of Five Star and the Democrats will not correspond to the sentiment of the people,” said Salvini, who remains as interior minister until a new administration is formed.
“If you make deals that are against nature, in the end the people will kick you out. Sooner or later, the judgement of the people will be heard.”
Salvini is looking to form an electoral alliance with the quasi-fascist the Brothers of Italy party.
Giorgia Meloni (pictured), the Brothers of Italy leader, condemned the talk of an M5S-PD administration.
“They’re stealing the government by preventing Italians from going to a vote,” she posted on Twitter, without any reference to last year’s general election.
Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Brothers of Italy. Picture credit: Wikimedia