Italy in limbo as parties ask for more time to thrash out deal

15 May 18

Italy’s anti-establishment party leader has asked for “a few more days” to work out a coalition deal with the far-right League.

The Five Star Movement and The League have said they still have to make conclusive decisions on a range of policies, and still have not picked who will be the prime minister.

Luigi Di Maio, head of the Five Star Movement, and The League’s Matteo Salvini have both stated a preference not to be prime minister.

Di Maio has met with Italy’s president Sergio Mattarella to report progress on the coalition.

He said: “We told the president we needed a few more days to definitively conclude the discussion on policies and then form a government of change for our country.”

The two parties announced their intentions of forming a government last week, more than nine weeks after the elections in March.

They are seeking major reforms with their coalition deal.

The parties have made progress on policy priorities, which could see changes to the 2011 ‘Fornero Reform’, which raised retirement age to 67 years.

Agreements on issues such as universal basic income, stronger laws on immigration and pension reform have also been made. 

But they need to work out the details of some sort of tax cuts and find ways of making sure they raise revenue from internet multinationals, such as Google.

They have also both said they want to override EU budget deficit restrictions to help boost growth and are opposed to economic sanctions on Russia, which they have pledged to try to overturn.

Family-friendly policies are also part of the programme proposed by the parties, including a zero-rate sales tax on baby products.

The two parties have reportedly reached a deal on a 15% tax for middle earners and a 20% tax for high earners on more than €80,000 per year.

The parties have also agreed on tightening laws on illegal immigration across the Mediterranean and want to push the EU on changing the ‘Dublin regulation’, by which refugees must seek asylum in the first EU state they reach.

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