Salvini sets conditions to Draghi as government-formation talks continue

Photo: EPA Matteo Salvini

Italy’s nationalist League leader Matteo Salvini said on Thursday that premier-designate Mario Draghi must choose between the proposals of anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) founder Beppe Grillo including a wealth tax on the super-rich and the League's proposals on cutting taxes, ANSA reported.

"Draghi will have to choose between Grillo's requests and ours which are the opposite," he said ahead of government-formation talks with the former European Central bank President on Saturday.

Salvini's statement was seen as signalling that the League would not join a majority including the M5S, its former partner in government.

The M5S is showing more willingness than initially to back Draghi while Salvini has said he will support the ex-ECB chief if he vows to lead Italy to elections later this year that the centre right expects to win. Draghi is looking to the longer term.

Premier-designate Mario Draghi started talks with Italy's political parties on Thursday after President Sergio Mattarella handed him a mandate to try and form a new government.

Outgoing Premier Giuseppe Conte quit last week after the centrist Italia Viva (IV) party pulled its support for his executive, depriving it of a majority in the Senate.

Draghi, who said Wednesday that his priorities will be defeating the COVID-19 pandemic and "relaunching" the country, must now see if an eventual government led by him will have a working majority in parliament.

The consultations with the parties are expected to last a couple of days. It is not certain that a Draghi government would be able to enjoy a comfortable majority. Draghi envisions a cabinet made up of non-political technocrats like himself, sources said. But the parties of the former ruling coalition are reportedly pushing for a cabinet made of a mix of experts and political figures, ANSA reported.

Ex-premier and IV leader Matteo Renzi has welcomed the decision to give Draghi a mandate. Two other parties in what was the ruling alliance, the centre-left Democratic Party (PC) and the left-wing LeU group, may well back it too. But the other former coalition partner, the 5-Star Movement (M5S), has said it wants a "political" executive. There is also speculation that the divisions within the M5S could lead to a full-blown split.

Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right Forza Italia (FI) appears ready to cooperate with Draghi. While the right-wing Brothers of Italy (FdI) has reiterated that it wants elections as soon as possible.

Similar articles

  • Laschet gets early nod for chancellor run

    Laschet gets early nod for chancellor run

    Leading members of Germany's Christian Democrats (CDU) are giving their support to party boss Armin Laschet to be the country's next chancellor after elections in September, dpa reported. The autumn polls will see Chancellor Angela Merkel leave the post after over 15 years at the helm.

    33
  • France bans short domestic flights

    France bans short domestic flights

    France launched yet another initiative, aimed at curbing carbon emissions. Under new amendments in legislation all domestic flights that could be substituted by train travel for under two and a half hour routes will be permanently suspended, Reuters reported. The move is the last in a series of actions targeted to lower green house gases. For the transport companies it comes on top of pandemic driven reduction of business and profits.

    39