Italy yesterday searched for a last-minute exit from almost three months of political turmoil, with its biggest party looking to make a renewed attempt to form a coalition government with the right-wing League party, a source said.
The two anti-establishment parties, the Five Star Movement and League, had abandoned plans to jointly take power over the weekend after Italian President Sergio Mattarella blocked their proposed Cabinet lineup.
Mattarella’s veto of 81-year-old euroskeptic Paolo Savona as minister of economy and finances appeared to tip the country back toward repeat elections and triggered a dramatic speculative attack on Italian financial markets.
The parties are now trying to find “a point of compromise on another name” to lead the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, said the source close to Five Star, the single biggest party in the new parliament.
Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio on Tuesday night told a rally in Naples, Italy, that he was ready to cooperate with League leader Matteo Salvini to solve the political crisis.
However, Salvini, who is surging in opinion polls, appeared to throw cold water on that idea, saying that Italy should return to an election as soon as possible.
“Di Maio’s overture? We’re not at the market and it’s also a question of dignity,” Salvini yesterday told a rally in Pisa, Italy. “We tried to form a government with the center-right and then with Five Star, and we were always told ‘no.’”
“The earlier we vote the better, because it’s the best way to get out of this quagmire and confusion,” Salvini told reporters.
However, he said that an election at the end of July would be “disruptive” for Italian seasonal workers in particular.
He invited Mattarella to make the first move, saying that he should “explain to us how we can get out of this situation.”
Despite the softer tone from Five Star, a top adviser to Salvini said a breakthrough with the president looked difficult, because the League was not prepared to abandon Savona.
“If it wasn’t possible three days ago, then it’s hard to see why it would be now,” Giancarlo Giorgetti said.
A surprise breakthrough between the president and the two parties would ease uncertainty, but still usher in a coalition planning to ramp up spending in the heavily indebted nation and push for changes to EU and eurozone fiscal rules.
In the event of a continued stalemate, Italy would go back to elections, with most major parties calling for the president to dissolve parliament and hold a vote as early as July 29.
A new opinion poll showed that League, which has argued that fiscal rules governing the eurozone are “enslaving” Italians, would boost its share of the vote to one-quarter, from about 17 percent on March 4.
The Ipsos Group poll, published in newspaper Corriere della Sera, showed support for Five Star steady at about 32.6 percent — implying a much more comfortable majority if the pair were to try again to govern.
That prospect has rocked financial markets, with the euro sinking to multi-month lows on fears that snap elections would lead to a euroskeptic government in Rome.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg
POINT-BLANK RANGE: Reporters and camera people from several outlets say police officers in Minneapolis had fired tear gas and rubber bullets directly at them Multiple journalists on the ground in Minnesota said they were teargassed and subject to other attacks by police on Saturday evening, a day after the widely condemned arrest of a CNN reporter live on air. Los Angeles Times journalist Molly Hennessy-Fiske, who was reporting outside the Fifth Precinct in Minneapolis, said she was with a group of about a dozen journalists when the Minnesota State Patrol “fired tear gas canisters on us at point blank range.” “I was saying: ‘Where do we go?’ They did not tell us where to go. They didn’t direct us. They just fired on us,” she said
For nearly a decade, the UN Security Council has been frequently paralyzed by Russia’s obstinacy over the Syrian crisis. Today, however, it is the US-China rivalry that has infected a growing array of issues, according to officials and diplomats. As recently as 2017, an understanding between Washington and Beijing allowed the UN on three occasions — involving separate sets of economic sanctions — to project international unity in the face of the North Korean nuclear threat. Three years later, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a ferocious competition erupt between the UN’s two main contributors, prompting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on May
HISTORIC FLIGHT: The astronauts named their capsule ‘Endeavour,’ after the space shuttle on which they both flew, while Elon Musk said he was overcome with emotion Two veteran NASA astronauts headed for the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday after Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Saturday became the first commercial company to launch a rocket carrying humans into orbit, ushering in a new era in space travel. SpaceX’s two-stage Falcon 9 rocket with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard blasted off flawlessly in a cloud of bright orange flames and smoke from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, for a 19-hour voyage to the space station. “Let’s light this candle,” Hurley, the mission commander, told SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, California, before liftoff at 3:22pm from NASA’s
INDIA Pride to be preserved The nation would not let its “pride be hurt” in its latest border flare-ups with China, but is determined to settle the dispute through talks, Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh said in a television interview late on Saturday. “Situations arise with China. It has happened before,” Singh said, adding that the government was striving to make sure “tension does not escalate.” The government has turned down US President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate, he said. IRAN Speaker says talks futile Newly elected Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf yesterday said that any negotiations with the US would be “futile.” The nation’s