Amid Italy Coalition Talks, Populist Leader Blasts EU for 'Unacceptable' Immigration Interference

Lester Mason
May 16, 2018

Right-wing League leader Matteo Salvini condemned "unacceptable interference from the EU" while Luigi Di Maio of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement spoke of "continuous attacks. from Eurocrats".

With hard decisions to be taken, the League revived some of its campaign rhetoric, taking aim at European Union budget restraints which impose de facto limits on how much a government can spend to kick-start its economy.

"It's very clear that in current times of economic growth Italy needs to put its debt on a downwards trajectory", European Commission vice president Valdis Dombrovskis said in Brussels on Tuesday.

Borghi is a member of the group working on a common programme as the two anti-system parties seek to form a government more than 10 weeks after a national election ended with a hung parliament.

Italian stocks.FTMIB fell 2.5 percent, set for their biggest one-day drop since the country's inconclusive general election in March.

The draft accord is likely to cause concern in Brussels and at European Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt.

The shock manifesto, entitled Government for Change, reveals plans for Italy to leave the single currency, calls for sanctions against Russian Federation to be scrapped and reveals plans to ask the European Central Bank to write off the country's £250bn debt. The programme confirms they want to hand out more welfare - possibly using European Union funds - cut taxes and lower Italy's retirement age.

The issue lay dormant during this year's election campaign as both parties continued to shy away from aggressive stances on the single currency, fearing it could scare voters. 5-Star has moderated its position considerably in the a year ago, rowing back on a previous plan to hold a referendum on Italy's membership of the currency bloc. However the League still wants to leave the euro zone as soon as is politically feasible.

Earlier, the leaders of the anti-immigrant League party and the anti-establishment Five Star movement agreed to meet the Italian President to share details of a government programme for the eurozone's third largest economy, thrashed out over the weekend.

The 5-Star Movement, which bills itself as an alternative to traditional politics, makes its positions and candidates subject to review by supporters in online votes. Italy's showdown with Europe would only be delayed.

They also demand an immediate end to sanctions on Russian Federation in order for Moscow to become a "strategic partner" in regional hotspots, such as Syria and Libya. This was partly out of a belief that while they would push Brussels to relax fiscal rules - not unlike Italian governments of the past, and other European Union governments such as France and Spain - they would not seek to pull their country out of the single currency.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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