Italy's anti-establishment parties sign accord to form ruling coalition

18 May, 2018, 13:49 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Italy's anti-establishment parties sign accord to form ruling coalition

The Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio and Mr Salvini are continuing negotiations on a policy programme.

Di Maio referred to the early draft as being "just notes".

The accord has yet to be made public and still needs to be ratified by both parties' members as well as approval by Mattarella. Di Maio said it will take place Friday from 10 am to 8 pm local time.

Rome: Italy's two anti-system parties on Wednesday appeared on the verge of clinching a deal to form a coalition government after 2-1/2 months of stalemate, rattling markets with radical ideas to free up billions of euros for tax cuts and welfare.

The policies would cost many billions of euros and have spooked investors in Italian debt, shares and the euro. However, the League still wants to leave the euro zone as soon as politically feasible.

Some of the other items still in red in that version include parts of a hardline immigration policy that would see Italy increase detentions of undocumented immigrants and speed up deportations.

Italy's populist parties considered asking the European Central Bank to write off 250 billion euro of the country's debt, which the bank is due to hold after the end of its quantitative easing bond-buying programme, and called for the creation of a mechanism to allow member states to ditch the euro and recover their own monetary sovereignty, suggesting they would abandon the fiscal rules underpinning the euro once in government.

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News of the draft accord has caused concern in Brussels, where European Commission vice president Valdis Dombrovskis told the EU parliament that Italy's new government should stick to fiscal discipline and keep reducing public debt.

"This is our message to the new government".

"The geopolitical noise and escalation fears are here to stay", said Norbert Rücker, head of macro and commodity research at Swiss bank Julius Baer.

Bond markets have fallen this week in anticipation of an agreement with the 10-year spread reaching 158 basis points earlier on Thursday.

Outgoing Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni told a meeting of European Union leaders in Bulgaria that he and other leaders were anxious that fundamental issues such as the need to safeguard public accounts were now up for political discussion. The contract for the M5S-League government features plans to introduce a two-tier flat tax, a basic income and the revision of a 2011 pension reform that raised the retirement age, among other measures. Economists say this would cost well over 50 billion euros (RM235 billion) in lost revenues.

The parties still haven't said who they'll nominate as prime minister. They also share an anti-establishment sentiment that has taken root in Italy but which has worldwide parallels such as Britain's vote to leave the European Union and the U.S. election of President Donald Trump.

The League-Five Star draft document also states their "intention to oppose" global trade treaties such as the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and ongoing negotiations to grant China market economy status (MES).

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