Europe Italy’s 5-Star rejects Berlusconi on eve of government consultations

Italy’s 5-Star rejects Berlusconi on eve of government consultations

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Five Stars Movement (M5S) leader Luigi Di Maio casts his vote at the Chamber of Deputies during the second session since the March 4 national election in Rome, Italy March 23, 2018.

The leader of Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement ruled out joining a coalition with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party on Tuesday, a day before formal government consultations begin.

Until now, 5-Star had said it was ready to talk to all parties after the March 4 national election ended in a hung parliament.

In an interview recorded by La7 TV channel and not yet broadcast, Luigi Di Maio said 5-Star was open to talks with the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), though not to its former secretary Matteo Renzi, and the far-right League, but not with Forza Italia, two 5-Star sources said.

“We will propose a government contract like the Germans do and what is written is done, and what is not written does not get done,” Di Maio told 5-Star lawmakers on Tuesday according to a statement.

The move will heighten tensions between the League and Forza Italia, which are partners in a centre-right coalition that won the most seats in parliament. Forza Italia had no immediate comment.

“The coalition that won the most votes is the centre-right and this is our starting point,” League leader Matteo Salvini said on Facebook. “We will dialogue with 5-Star, but reject vetoes or commands.”

In the election, the 5-Star followed the centre right but was the single largest party, and the PD was third, but no one has enough seats to govern alone.

 
 
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