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Italian party leaders 'close' to agreement on alliance   Guardian
Talks between the leaders of Italy's Democratic party (PD) and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) went on late into the night on Monday as they sought to thrash out an agreement on a potential alliance that could avert a snap election.

Giuseppe Conte, the outgoing prime minister, joined the meeting between the PD leader, Nicola Zingaretti, and his M5S counterpart, Luigi Di Maio, in a sign that Zingaretti has succumbed to M5S's demands to reinstate Conte.

The nomination of Conte, who last week ended an ill-fated coalition government between M5S and the far-right League, has been the main obstacle in the talks.

"It's close, but not set in stone," a source close to the discussions said before the meeting. "If Conte is nominated prime minister, then it could be in exchange for M5S losing some ministries to the PD." Di Maio might also be forced to step down as deputy prime minister in exchange, the source added.

Zingaretti declined to respond to questions about Conte's potential return after an initial meeting with Di Maio in Rome on Monday evening, but said: "We are on the right track. I'm optimistic about making this agreement. Creating a government is a serious thing - we are serious people - and we don't want [a government] that finishes after 14 months like the M5S-League one."

Maybe next Italy will show the way to fiscal sanity.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Aug 28th, 2019 at 09:01:21 PM EST

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