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Struggling to agree on government pact, Italy's League turns on EU
17 May 2018, 06:06 | Devin Moran
Matteo Salvini is the leader of the Northern League
Leaked drafts of their government "contract" include provision for a "conciliation committee" to settle expected disagreements.
Benchmark Italian government bond yields nudged higher after a 16 basis point jump on Wednesday following reports, subsequently denied, that the prospective Five Star/League coalition government had drafted an economic plan that would seek 250 billion euros of debt forgiveness from the European Central Bank.
Wednesday's yield increase followed Tuesday's bond market selloff spurred by data showing a solid rise in retail sales that suggested the U.S. economy is on a stronger footing in the second quarter.
The 39-page draft, obtained by Huffington Post Italia, reflected the difficulties the two pre-election rivals face in finding the resources needed to pay for promises they made to their voters during the campaign.
They have both vowed to scrap an unpopular pension reform - a move that would punch a 15-billion-euro hole in state coffers.
Italy's two populist parties will try to reach a deal on forming a government after a leaked draft revealed plans to defy European Union rules on migration and debt.
The Turkish lira had been testing record lows against both the dollar and the euro but clawed higher after officials from the central bank said they would be prepared to act to halt the rout. "The next few days will be crucial", Luigi Di Maio told reporters after meeting with Mr. Mattarella.
Italy's debt mountain is €2.3bn, or 132% of GDP, the highest ratio anywhere in Europe apart from Greece.
For instance, the EU's Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said he hopes Italy's policy on asylum seekers does not change under the new government.
"Italy is of maximum importance for the European Union, which would not be complete without the Italian nation and its people", Juncker told reporters here.
Both groups have a history of euroscepticism. It might also dismay Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who has repeatedly stressed the importance of maintaining a strong, pro-European stance. Two-year Italian government yields are now back in positive territory for the first time in nearly a year - the only other positive yielding two-year euro zone government bond is Greece. 5-Star has moderated its position considerably in the a year ago, rowing back on a previous plan to hold a referendum on Italy's membership of the currency bloc. "The government is not [yet] formed, we have to wait and see". They also taunted Brussels by warning that if European Union capitals were concerned, "then we're doing something right".
"It's very possible that the parties will have to moderate their plans on a lot of these controversial areas once they try to govern", said Flavio Chiapponi, a political scientist at the University of Pavia and author of a book about the 5-Star Movement.
Blunt-talking Matteo Salvini, who heads the right-wing anti-migrant League party, indicated he'd prefer to go to a new election, 10 weeks after a vote yielded political gridlock, if his forces don't get a "free hand to manage the security of Italians".
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