Stalemate continues as League, M5S squabble (2)
Salvini hits back at Di Maio on 'harmful centre right'
16 Aprile 2018
Rome, April 16 - Italy's political stalemate following last month's inconclusive general election has continued with the lead players, the League and the 5-Star-Movement (M5S), still looking distant from reaching an agreement to form a new government. M5S leader Luigi Di Maio at the weekend reiterated his call for the anti-migrant, Euroskeptic League to dump its centre-right coalition partner, Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (FI), to make a deal possible. But League leader Matteo Salvini said the anti-establishment M5S should stop imposing vetoes and repeated his assertion that a united centre-right coalition should be at the heart of the next executive. Di Maio is also looking towards the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which has said it will be in the opposition after slumping to its worst-ever showing in the election, but could reportedly reconsider its position of the stalemate becomes prolonged. President Sergio Mattarella said the parties had not made significant progress towards the formation of a new government after concluding the second round of formal consultations last week and said he was taking a few days to assess things. Salvini on Monday hit back at Di Maio for saying the centre right's unity was harmful to the country after last month's inconclusive general election. "What Di Maio judges to be harmful, the united centre right, is what the votes rewarded in the March 4 election," Salvini said as he started the campaign for the upcoming regional election in Molise. "I ask Di Maio to have respect for the voters," added Salvini, whose group is the lead party in the centre-right alliance that came first in the election, while the M5S was the top single party. "I say there are no dangerous parties or dangerous voters and I call on the others to do likewise". Salvini also said Monday that he would not have any involvement in a government featuring the PD in response to an interview given by outgoing Industry Minister Carlo Calenda. "I dialogue with everyone, but the only fixed point is that you can't do anything with the PD," Salvini said. "To Calenda I say - mamma mia! What could a government with those who approved the Fornero (pension reform) and want migrants do?". Earlier on Monday Calenda, who recently joined the centre-left PD, said that the headline to interview he gave to La Repubblica, suggesting he was proposing a pact between the PD, League and the M5S, was misleading. "I do argue, on the other hand, that given the situation of stalemate and the deterioration of the international crisis, it would be right to propose a government of transition supported by all the political parties and a bilateral commission to intervene in the election law and other incomplete reforms".