Monday 16 September 2019

Italian coalition promises budget to kickstart the economy

Giuseppe Conte. Photo: Reuters
Giuseppe Conte. Photo: Reuters

Crispian Balmer

Italy's new government coalition yesterday unveiled a shared policy programme - with an expansionary budget top of the agenda.

The 5-Star Movement and the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) are on the verge of putting long-standing differences aside to form an administration and avoid the need for a snap election.

The anti-establishment 5-Star, created a decade ago out of opposition to the PD, had seen its previous coalition with the far-right League collapse last month.

Supporters of 5-Star agreed in an online ballot to support the proposed coalition after the parties published a 26-point programme that would underpin the planned government.

"This is a very delicate moment for the country. It must be tackled by focusing on the interests and needs of citizens, of the community that we all form together," 5-Star said yesterday.

At the head of the policy list was a commitment to use the coming budget to help the stalled economy grow, but also a promise that they would not endanger public finances.

The two parties pledged to introduce a minimum salary, cancel a VAT rise and boost spending on education, research and welfare.

The programme also called for a web tax on multinationals and the creation of a public bank to help boost development in the poorer south.

The new administration is set to be led by outgoing Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who came to power last year at the helm of the previous coalition but is a member of no party.

Having agreed on the outlines of a coalition pact, the two sides still have to decide on ministers.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News