Italy’s M5S and League parties poised to name a prime minister
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Italy’s M5S and League parties poised to name a prime minister

Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and its far-right partner, the League, are preparing to present their government programme to President Sergio Mattarella on Monday and name a prime minister.

Matteo Salvini, the leader of the League, and M5S counterpart Luigi Di Maio, worked over the weekend in Milan on a policy document in which they are expected to take a tougher approach towards illegal immigration and the EU.

In line with their campaign pledges, the parties, which between them won more than 50% of the vote in the 4 March elections, have also reportedly reached agreement on introducing a flat tax as low as 15%, a universal basic income and dismantling a change to pensions in 2011 that increased the retirement age. They have also pledged to attempt to renegotiate European treaties.

“If the rules, parameters and constraints imposed by Europe do not change, Italy suffocates. This seems to be a shared commitment,” Salvini said.

Italian media reported that Di Maio had told the president’s office on Sunday night they would be ready to submit their plan to Mattarella and name a prime minister on Monday. Earlier in the day, the 31-year-old said the pair were “writing history” and needed time, but that talks had been positive.

If Mattarella endorses the candidate, programme and cabinet lineup then he could nominate a prime minister on Monday, paving the way for a government to be sworn in this week before facing a vote of confidence in both houses of parliament. However, Mattarella warned over the weekend that he would not be a “pushover”.

Di Maio and Salvini will meet in Rome on Monday before updating the president. It is still unclear who Italy’s next prime minister could be, although Di Maio said it would be “a politician and not a technician”.

The person is expected to be from neither from the League nor M5S and will also probably be someone who will heed Mattarella’s warnings against nationalism.

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