No deal on premier, League-M5S ask for more time

Salvini asks 'free hand' on migrants, EU restrictions

(ANSA) - Rome, May 14 - The anti-migrant Euroskeptic League and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) said after fresh government-formation consultations with President Sergio Mattarella Monday that they needed more time to put the final touches to a German-style government contract and to agree on a prospective premier to propose to the president.
    Mattarella granted them the time they need.
    Anti-migrant Euroskeptic League leader Matteo Salvini said after speaking to Mattarella Monday that the government with the M5S would start if it is able to achieve things, otherwise it will not start, and so it would work to hopefully lift EU fiscal restrictions on policy making.
    He also said he wanted a free hand on migrants, where the League's positions were tougher than the M5S's.
    Salvini told reports that the possible new administration will "start if it can do things". He said "if we realised that were not the case then we would stop".
    Salvini said "I want children not to have roofs falling on their heads," referring to a roof collapse at a school Monday.
    "I want firms to pay fewer taxes and today I have external limits that don't allow me to, either we rediscuss the (EU) restrictions or it's the book of dreams".
    Salvini said "if I go into government I want to do what I promised to do on what Italians vote for me to do, on the Fornero (pension law), avoiding the VAT hike, reducing duties on petrol, on immigration on which the League and the M5S start from a notable distance: with respect for human rights and the treaties, I refuse to think of the umpteenth summer and autumn of the business of clandestine immigration in profit. "If we go into government we want a free hand to safeguard Italians' security, also via a law on legitimate self-defence," he said.
    The rightwing populist leader said if he heeded opinion polls that showed the League rising it would be in his party's interests to return to the vote after the inconclusive March 4 general election, but he would do his all to give Italy a government respecting voters' wishes.
    He said he and M5S leader Luigi Di Maio "are not talking about names (for premier) but discussing more constructively and even in an animated fashion about the idea of Italy".
    The League, like its prospective government partner M5S, wants to consult its voters on the government contract between the two and will set up gazebos around the country next weekend for voters to vote yes or no, sources said Monday.
    Earlier, Di Maio said after meeting Mattarella that neither he nor prospective Salvini would put forward premiership names yet and also asked for a few more days to complete a government programme.
    It will be Mattarella who will decide how many more days are needed, he said.
    Asked about the perceived delay, Di Maio stressed that "these are just the first consultations we have made" after agreeing to seek a government deal with the League.
    Di Maio said both he and Salvini "agree on the fact that we won't publicly name names". He said that the M5S delegation had asked Mattarella for "a few more days" to complete the government programme in a "German-style" contract with the rightwing populist League.
    Saying that "we updated the president on how the various talks between the M5S and the League are advancing on the government contract", Di Maio added that the contract will include "(abolishing) the Fornero (pension) law, the fight against waste, the fight against corruption, and jail for those who evade taxes".
    He stressed that a few more days were needed because the M5S is aware it is drafting a contract for a "five-year government programme". The contract, Di Maio said, will be put to an online vote by M5S members "which will be called to decide whether to let this government start with this contract or not". He said that "the government accord is the heart of this government of change we intend to get started as soon as possible".
    Mattarella does not intend to prevent the birth of a political government that finally will get the legislative term started and has thus noted the League and 5-Star Movement's request for a few more days to set up the government, sources said Monday evening. The two parties will tell the president when they are ready, the sources said.