Italian parties hope to find solution for a workable cabinet to avoid elections

President Sergio Mattarella will wait until 27 August to announce next move

PD secretary Nicola Zingaretti (L) and M5S leader Luigi Di Maio.

Italy's centre-left Democratic Party (PD) estimates as "positive" talks on Friday with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) on forming a workable coalition government, news wires reported.

The M5S, which had been governing Italy with Matteo Salvini's far-right League party, has indicated it may be open to an alliance with the left instead  previously almost unthinkable after years of vicious arguments. Salvini pulled the plug on the coalition earlier this month and PM Giuseppe Conte resigned on 20 August.

The discussions between PD and the Movement (M5S) had found "ample agreement on social and environmental issues", negotiator Graziano Delrio from the Democratic Party said after two hours of talks on Friday."It's really a good start," he said, adding that further meetings over the draft budget for the Eurozone's third largest economy would be held "in the coming hours".

PD leader Nicola Zingaretti has said his lawmakers would form an alliance dependent on five conditions. They include a radical shift in Italy's zero-tolerance policy on migrants crossing the Mediterranean, pro-European policies and a focus on improving living standards.

The M5S has listed ten key policies, including a plan to slash the number of lawmakers in parliament from 950 to 605.The Movement's negotiator, Francesco D'Uva, said he had asked the PD for guarantees the lawmakers would be cut.

Italian president Sergio Mattarella on Thursday gave the parties deadline until 27 August to reach an accord for workable government. Italian media speculated that he might wait until Wednesday to address the nation and either announce a new cabinet and name its prime minister or send the country to the polls.

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