- Title: What's next for the Italian government?
- Date: 29th August 2019
- Summary: ROME, ITALY (RECENT - AUGUST 28, 2019) (REUTERS) 5-STAR MOVEMENT LEADER LUIGI DI MAIO ARRIVING AT QUIRINALE PRESIDENTIAL PALACE DEMOCRATIC PARTY LEADER NICOLA ZINGARETTI ARRIVING TO SPEAK TO MEDIA AFTER MEETING WITH PRESIDENT SERGIO MATTARELLA ROME, ITALY (AUGUST 29, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CHIEF ROME CORRESPONDENT, CRISPIAN BALMER, SAYING: "The Italian President has asked Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to try to form a new government, this time with the 5-Star Movement and the center-left Democratic Party. Conte has said yes and he has already kicked off talks with the parties. He hopes to be able to return to the President in the coming days with a list of ministers and with the hope of being able to start a new government next week." PEOPLE WALKING ALONG STREET IN CENTRAL ROME (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CHIEF ROME CORRESPONDENT, CRISPIAN BALMER, SAYING: "Although Conte has said that he hopes to be able to pull together a new government, it is not a given. The 5-Star has said that it will hold an online vote of all its members and the 5-Star has a long history of animosity with the PD. Many 5-Star supporters are very opposed to jump into a coalition with them, so it is not a given this online vote will pass." TAORMINA, ITALY (RECENT - AUGUST 11, 2019) (REUTERS) LEAGUE LEADER MATTEO SALVINI GETTING OUT OF SEA SALVINI TAKING SELFIE WITH SUPPORTERS ON THE BEACH ROME, ITALY (AUGUST 29, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CHIEF ROME CORRESPONDENT, CRISPIAN BALMER, SAYING: "League leader Matteo Salvini announced in August that he was going to leave the government fully expecting that this would have trigger early elections, opinion polls showed that League was far ahead of other parties and he was confident that this election would promote him to the role of Prime Minister. What he did not expect is that the PD jumped into bed with the 5-Star Movement and shunned him into the opposition. This is what has effectively happened and he is very, very upset about it. However he is also convinced that the PD and the 5-Stars will not survive long together and think that, even if he has to wait for a few months, elections will be held sooner or later and his dream of leading a far-right government will survive intact." CAR DRIVING IN STREET OF CENTRAL ROME PEOPLE WALKING ALONG STREET PEOPLE EATING VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING IN PARK
- Embargoed: 12th September 2019 15:53
- Keywords: 5-Star Movement Italy Speaker of Senate Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati Luigi Di Maio Italian PM Giuseppe Conte Rome Democratic Party politics Nicola Zingaretti
- Location: ROME AND TAORMINA, ITALY
- City: ROME AND TAORMINA, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002AU9U3WN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The ancient adage 'my enemy's enemy is my friend' has been a staple of pragmatic statecraft throughout history and it will be the cornerstone of a new Italian coalition that looks set to take office next week.
Once bitter adversaries themselves, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and centre-left Democratic Party (PD) have been thrown into each otherâ€™s arms by a mutual foe -- the far-right League and its populist leader Matteo Salvini.
But beyond this shared enmity, the 5-Star and PD have few points in common, suggesting their alliance will struggle to survive or give the Eurozoneâ€™s third largest economy the deep-seated reform and political stability it so badly needs.
"Although Conte has said that he hopes to be able to pull together a new government, it is not a given", Reuters Chief Rome Correspondent Crispian Balmer said.
Italy's president gave Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte a mandate on Thursday (August 29) to try to form a new coalition in the wake of the League's shock decision to abandon its 14-month-old alliance with 5-Star and seek early elections.
Stung by what it saw as betrayal and keen to avoid a return to the polls, 5-Star has agreed to govern with PD, which is in the process of rebuilding after a string of election defeats. But the decision has caused deep unease within both camps.
"The 5-Star has said that it will hold an online vote of all its members and the 5-Star has a long history of animosity with the PD", Balmer added. "Many 5-Star supporters are very opposed to jump into a coalition with them, so it is not a given this online vote will pass."
These flaws may not be immediately on show as the coalition tackles its first task - finding the 23 billion euros ($25.6 billion) needed to prevent an automatic hike in value-added tax scheduled for January that is designed to subdue the deficit.
Salvini pulled his hard-right party out of its governing alliance with 5-Star after weeks of public bickering. He had wanted fresh polls to capitalise on his party's success in European elections but his plan backfired as 5-Star and the PD, lagging the League in opinion surveys, set aside their long-standing antipathy to form a government.
"He is very, very upset about it," Balmer said.
"However he is also convinced that the PD and the 5-Stars will not survive long together and think that, even if he has to wait for a few months, elections will be held sooner or later and his dream of leading a far-right government will survive intact," he added.
Despite its inherent frailties, the mooted government has received a big thumbs up from financial markets, with Italian bond yields tumbling to record lows this week on expectations the new administration will pursue a prudent fiscal policy and avoid confrontation with Brussels over the budget.
(Production: Carmelo Camilli, Matteo Berlenga, Fabiano Franchitti, Emily Roe)
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