Gentiloni offers reassurances that political parties in Italy do not really mean what they say

GIORGIO ONORATI

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni waits at the Italian Senate prior to a vote of confidence on Gentiloni's government, in Rome, Italy, 14 December 2016.

Gentiloni offers reassurances that political parties in Italy do not really mean what they say


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The Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni moved to reassure Chancellor Angela Merkel and investors that Italy is not in danger of being run by a populist government.

Following a meeting with Chancellor Merkel in Berlin, the prime minister of the third biggest economy in the Eurozone said that there was no risk that Italy will emerge the March 4 elections with a government that will have “populist or anti-European positions.”

Gentiloni appeared confident that the next Italian government will be a coalition government led by the Democratic Party (DP) but refused to speculate on results.

“I think that the government solutions for our country are not stated by the polls, but by the voters on March 4,” he told the voters. “Before the elections, like in Germany and all democratic countries, the Democratic Party (PD) and its allies make their proposals to voters,” Gentiloni said.

Currently, all major Italian parties are campaigning for a revision of the current status quo in the Eurozone.

In the countdown towards the March 4 elections, the far-right Northern League has surged on the polls and could challenge Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia for the leadership of the right.

The Northern League and Forza Italia have agreed that the prime minister would be appointed by the bigger of the two parties after the elections. The far-right Northern League is campaigning on a platform of exiting the Eurozone, while Berlusconi has speculated on the possibility of a dual currency.

Meanwhile, the 5-Star Movement (MS5) leading the polls has abandoned the hardline position of leaving the Eurozone and is arguing for the renegotiation of the fiscal compact.

The former prime minister Matteo Renzi is also arguing for the renegotiation of the fiscal compact and has launched his electoral campaign with a book on the subject. No major political party in Italy is committed to the current status quo in the Eurozone.

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