Italy's 5Stars and League draft coalition deal leaked
May 17 2018 by Desiree Burns
Italy's election in March left Matteo Salvini's nationalist League, and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) under Luigi Di Maio, in the driving seat to form a coalition.
The agreement, a version of which was published on the Huffington Post website on Tuesday evening, initially proposed the introduction of measures to enable Italy's exit from the single currency, but both parties revealed that the idea had been subsequently removed from later versions.
Italy is one of the key pillars of the project and without its full support, the euro could be on shaky ground.
"On the USA economic data front, the consumer remains the economy's backbone, and if this robust trend in the retail space continues to build, factor in a bit of wage growth pressure and the U.S. dollar will continue to move higher on the back of higher yields", Innes added.
With the bond markets rattled and much of Europe watching anxiously, the two principals sounded increasingly defiant as they insisted Wednesday that a coalition deal was close. Italian shares also fell 1.8 per cent on Wednesday.
A definitive programme should be completed by the end of the day, Salvini said, adding that the two parties would update Italian President Sergio Mattarella on their attempt to build a government by Monday.
Hours after the document leak, 5-Star and the League issued a further joint statement saying they wanted to "reconsider" the euro zone's fiscal rules with Italy's partners "in the spirit of returning to the pre-Maastricht set-up" - a reference to the treaty which laid the groundwork for monetary union.
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Perhaps the simplest way to imagine the eurozone is as a three-legged stool.
This implied "breakup" risk, which had soared at the height of the sovereign debt crisis in 2011/2012, has subsided since France elected centrist Emmanuel Macron as president previous year and Germany re-elected centre-right Chancellor Angela Merkel. "In other words, the eurozone's member countries are democracies and one sees increasing hostility to the euro, which is, unfortunately, spilling over to a broader hostility to the broader European project and liberal values".
Italy's partners however want to believe that the next government will be manageable.
While the coalition has ruled out an exit for now, Five Star has a track record of changing its political stripes at nearly any moment if it seems that doing so will boost its popularity.
"It is absolutely clear that they want to respect their electoral promises", he told EUobserver. "Italy is of the highest importance for the European Union".
While speculation abounds as to who leaked the document, Italy's borrowing costs jumped and stocks slid once the leak was made public. In it, the parties said they planned to ask the ECB to forgive 250 billion euros ($296 billion) of Italian debt purchased under the euro zone central bank's quantitative easing (QE) program.
Turning to other issues that have snarled Rome's relations with Europe, the draft calls for asylum seekers who arrive in Italy to be relocated automatically across the European Union.