Published On: Mon, Aug 26th, 2019

Italy crisis: Anti-Salvini coalition set to be ‘short-lived’ as rival left parties crumble | World | News

Stephanie Kelly, a senior political economist at Aberdeen Standard Investments, told Bloomberg she believed a coalition between the Democratic Party (PD) and the Five Star Movement (M5S) to solve the political crisis faced by the Government at the moment, would not last very long. The potential plot to oust Interior Minister and Lega leader has been proposed after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced his resignation last week. But Ms Kelly outlined the key “risks” M5S leader Luigi Di Maio and the PD will face if they agreed to form a new government together. She said: “It’s Italian politics so you know, never say never. I think that there are clearly incentives in the short term.

“Essentially, the centre-left PD and the left-wing Five Star Movement (M5S) don’t want to go to elections because their polls have been very poor and so there is an incentive for them to work together.

“However, let’s bear in mind, not even a month ago you were having communications from Matteo Renzi saying we’ll never work with the Five Star Movement.

“Traditionally they are kind of rivals for the same kind of left-wing support base.

“So it’s not the most straightforward coalition to build and I think if we do get a coalition, I’d be surprised if it lasted very long.”

She explained: “The risk for the Five Star Movement is they would lose voters to the Lega because they are seen as working with the establishment – going against the populist cause.

READ MORE: Italy crisis: Salvini hints at coalition breakthrough 

“On the PD side, the risk is that they see politicians working with the Five Star Movement where they don’t necessarily speak to the same values as a more centrist PD voter.

“So there are risks that come with forming a coalition and if we get one I think it will be short-lived.”

Matteo Salvini catapulted Italy into a political crisis by forcing Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte into resigning earlier this week over growing disagreements with coalition partners in the M5S.

Mr Salvini precipitated the break by tabling a motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Conte only to later withdraw it minutes before Mr Conte stepped down.

Italian Republic President Sergio Mattarella requested the former Prime Minister and his government remain in place until a new executive can be formed.

Following two days of meetings with all parliamentary groups, President Mattarella announced M5S leader Luigi di Maio had assured him talks with the PD could ultimately result in a new government.

PD leader Nicola Zingaretti laid down his own five conditions that should form the backbone of any accord – “loyal membership” of the EU, giving parliament a central role; economic development based on environmental sustainability, a change in handling migrants and a change to economic policy to boost investment.

On Thursday, Mr Zingaretti raised the stakes further with three more specific conditions: Five-Star must agree to repeal laws on security and immigration passed during its coalition with the League, revise a plan to cut the number of lawmakers to 600 from 945 and immediately commit to a framework agreement with the PD on the 2020 budget.

M5S’s support has slumped over the last year and it does not want a return to the polls but it has warned the PD that it should not push too hard.

A reconciliation between Lega and M5S is considered unlikely after the bitter recriminations between the parties in the last two weeks but it remains one of the options on the table along with an M5S-PD tie-up and a snap election.

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