Friday, 17 August, 2018

Italy's populist leaders seek more time to end political stalemate

EU accused of ‘interfering’ in Italian politics By European Interest EU accused of ‘interfering’ in Italian politics By European Interest
Ellis Copeland | 17 May, 2018, 18:04

"From Europe we have the umpteenth unacceptable interference by unelected officials", he said, also criticising migration commissioner Dimitri Avramopoulos for having said that he hoped that Italy's current migration policy will not change.

Mr. Mattarella said this month that if political leaders can't form a coalition, he will appoint a nonpartisan figure to lead a caretaker government and hold new elections by the end of the year.

Wednesday's yield increase followed Tuesday's bond market selloff spurred by data showing a solid rise in retail sales that suggested the USA economy is on a stronger footing in the second quarter.

They have both vowed to scrap an unpopular pension reform - a move that would punch a 15-billion-euro hole in state coffers.

After months of drift and political uncertainty, Italy looks set to anoint its first government dominated by populist and anti-immigrant parties, setting Rome on a collision course with the European Union powers that be in Brussels over plans to cut taxes, increase spending, reconsider the euro currency and dramatically curb the flow of refugees arriving on the country's shores from northern Africa. Salvini dismissed concerns about the widening gap, or spread, between Italy's benchmark bonds and safer German ones as a sign the two potential partners were on the right track.

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. Di Maio and Salvini are expected to report back to him with their plans.

According to Italian media reports, their nominee for Prime Minister is likely be from a "third party" and will have to be able to make the eurosceptic nature of the new government workable with Brussels.

If opposition to the European Union increases further - Italy ranked 23rd out of 28 in terms of individual support for the bloc in a recent study by Berlin-based think tank the European Council of Foreign Relations (ECFR) - it would not be a huge surprise to see Five Star go back on its pledge to back the euro.

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Pressure on Mexico's peso returned as hopes for a new-look NAFTA trade deal with the USA and Canada were pushed back and as the country's central bank said its systems had been hit by a 300 million pesos ($15.33 million) cyber attack.

"We will see what the outcome is and then we will comment", Juncker stated. However, the League still wants to leave the euro zone as soon as politically feasible.

Both parties have a history of Euroscepticism.

In a meeting with Mattarella on Monday, 5-Star proposed little-known law professor Giuseppe Conte, but the League has not yet given its go-ahead, a source in the president's office said.

"While the situation in Italy is a concern for currencies, the 5-Star Movement sees Britain struggle with its European Union exit plan and is unlikely to pursue a similar agenda".

A leaked draft policy paper on the two parties' plans for government showed discussions about leaving the euro.

A 39-page document agreed to Wednesday night drops the writeoff demand but says that euro-area government bonds already purchased by the European Central Bank under quantitative easing should not count towards the debt-to-gross domestic product ratio, according to the Five Star official.

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