Italy's rival populist leaders summoned for coalition talks

Five Star Northern League close in on coalition 6 weeks after election

Five Star Northern League close in on coalition 6 weeks after election

Luigi Di Maio, who leads the 5-Star Movement, and Matteo Salvini, head of the anti-migrant League, have separate appointments to brief Italy's head of state, President Sergio Mattarella, at the Quirinal Palace.

The 5 Star leader, Luigi Di Maio, said the government would maintain budget discipline and stay within European Union rules.

If Mattarella accepts the nomination then the position could be filled within days. Italian media has reported that the nominee will likely be from a third party, rather than an insider from either Lega or M5S.

Di Maio and Salvini will meet in Rome on Monday before updating the president.

A deeply eurosceptic far-right party and an anti-establishment group are set to unveil a coalition government agreement and name a new Italian prime minister on Monday, ending over two months of political deadlock.

Five Star has also called for a universal basic income scheme for the unemployed, while the League supports a flat income tax.

The most sensitive issue is undoubtedly that of immigration, and according to the daily Il Corriere della Sera "the approach of the League is more muscular than that of M5S".

Five-Star secured 32% of the vote during the March 5 poll, with Lega coming out on top of a three-party right-wing alliance that includes former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia.

Five Star won more support than any other single party with 33 percent of the vote.

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