Italy’s main opposition party The leader of Italy’s centre-left Democratic Party, Nicola Zingaretti, has called for the formation of a four-year alternative government in order to approve the country’s 2020 budget. This was the initial proposal by former prime minister Matteo Matteo Renzi. However,
Zingaretti also said he is open to forming a coalition government with the 5-Star Movement if the leftist-populist party confirms its commitment to EU membership and the two sides reach a consensus over migration and environmental policy.
The call for a four-year alternative government was initially proposed by former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi after the collapse of a 14-month coalition government of 5-Star Movement and Lega, led by Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, on Tuesday.
Italian President Sergio Matterella has begun consultations over the formation of a government and is due to talk to Zingaretti in the coming days.
5-Star has the most seats in parliament, although polling suggests they have lost over half of their popularity and are polling nationally at only 16%. Salvini and Lega, on the other hand, have regularly topping opinion polls in recent months, having seen their popularity reach nearly 40%
Salvini withdrew his support for the coalition government on 8 August and has called for snap elections by October. Lega’s rhetoric has, since last winter, become increasingly more critical of the EU establishment in Brussels, which has helped boost its popularity with the Italian public, most of who are struggling as Italy continues to experience economic hardship and high unemployment, as well as bearing the brunt of the ongoing European migrant crisis.
Lega’s budget committee chair and economic policy spokesperson, Claudio Borghi, told German magazine Capital that Italy’s exit from the euro “would be a good thing”, but only if the government had the democratic legitimacy to do so, adding that more than 50% of the Italian electorate would have to be behind such a move.
Borghi had earlier confirmed that a Lega government would approve a stimulus programme that would, in part, be deficit-financed. A potential move that has infuriated the European Commission, who contend that such a measure would be a flagrant violation of the EU’s budget policy.