M5S rebuffs Salvini 'overture'

'Light years apart' from LN says Fico

(ANSA) - Rome, June 16 - The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement M5S) on Friday rebuffed a perceived overture on a possible future alliance from the anti-immigrant, anti-euro Northern League (LN).
    (M5S) bigwig Roberto Fico turned down LN leader Matteo Salvini's tentative offer saying the two parties' stances were "light years apart". He said that, unlike Salvini, the M5S does not talk about bulldozing Roma camps, "the M5S does not wage cryptofascist campaigns." Fico, the RAI State broadcaster parliamentary oversight commission chair, said "the distance on visions, ideas and contents is light years...especially on the migrant question." He said "in Italy there is an emergency which must be contained and governed, unlike what has been done in the last 20 years by parties, via common-sense measures, which we have proposed on several occasions in parliament." Earlier Salvini said LN's "natural alliance" was with the centre right featuring ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (FI) party but that M5S leader Beppe Grillo was "welcome" after recently saying there were too many migrants and Roma gypsies in Italy. The M5S has also said it will abstain on a bill, now facing final approval in the Senate, that would grant Italian citizenship to some 800,000 immigrant children who have spent at least five years in the Italian school system.
    The LN and other rightwing and centre-right parties, including FI, are staunchly against the bill, saying citizenship must be a reward for integration and alleged extremists might benefit from the measure.
    The M5S's recent swivel to a hardline stance on migrants and Roma has led many commentators to suggest it might ally with LN at the general election, currently expected to take place early next year. The M5S has denied reports its guru Davide Casaleggio met with Salvini to discuss a possible alliance in an unknown location recently.
    Another M5S bigwig, Lower House Deputy Speaker Luigi Di Maio, ha said he will sue La Repubblica daily editor-in-chief Mario Calabresi for carrying a report of the alleged meeting, and Casaleggio has said he will do the same unless Calabresi comes up with a date for the meeting.
    La Repubblica stands by the story.
    The M5S has always said it will never cut deals with any of Italy's traditional parties, which it sees as representing a corrupt establishment.