Italian Populists Ready to Form Next Government After Berlusconi Grants Green Light

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The populist anti-establishment parties Five Star and Le Lega look ready to form the next Italian government after La Lega centre-right coalition partner Silvio Berlusconi withdrew his opposition to the parties working together.

The anti-establishment parties, who share many common policies on mass migration, the European Union and the euro currency, look set to form the next Italian government saying they have made “significant milestones” in a press release issued Thursday Le Monde reports.

Previously both the Five Star Movement (M5S) and La Lega, led by firebrand Matteo Salvini, could not agree on a deal because M5S leader Luigi Di Maio refused to work with former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the centre-right coalition partner of Salvini.

On Wednesday night Berlusconi announced he would not oppose a coalition between the two parties who could now form a eurosceptic government.

While Berlusconi may no longer be an obstacle for a new government, Italian president Sergio Mattarella has announced that he will require certain guarantees in order to give the anti-establishment parties his approval.

Mattarella’s guarantees, which are thought to calm fears from the European Union and others, could affect promises made by both parties including Salvini’s promise to deport hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants.

Despite potential opposition from the Italian president, Salvini said Thursday afternoon that the government would be focused on security issues and mass migration. M5S MP Alfonso Bonafede also commented saying that a basic income programme and a flat tax were also “important starting points.”

The two parties are expected to agree on a deal in the next two to three days but if no deal can be reached a new election is likely to be called.

The Italian election result earlier this year saw massive gains for anti-establishment parties but as in Germany, a potential coalition deal has taken months. Polls show that despite the delays, La Lega and the Five Star Movement continue to dominate the traditional establishment parties.

 Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


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