Conte says he aims to form Italy’s government by mid-week

Italy's Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvinihad pulled his support from a coalition with the M5S. — Reuters pic

Italy's Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvinihad pulled his support from a coalition with the M5S. — Reuters pic

M5S Senate Whip Stefano Patuanelli said Monday that if the response is no then premier-designate Giuseppe Conte will have to tell President Sergio Mattarella that his government-formation bid has failed.

Italy's premier-designate Giuseppe Conte said Sunday he meant to present his new coalition cabinet by Wednesday at the latest, as he races to resolve the political crisis in the eurozone's third largest economy.

The leaders of Italy's 5-Star Movement have agreed on a coalition with their rivals on the left, the moderate Democratic Party (PD), to stay in power and avoid a snap election.

Mr Conte was tasked with forming a new coalition after the collapse of Italy's populist coalition last month. If they don't reach an agreement sometime this week, Mattarella is expected to dissolve parliament and set a date for new elections.

"I am not a member of the Five Star Movement, I do not participate in meetings of the leadership group, I have never met the parliamentary groups, to call me M5S seems inappropriate to me", he said.

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But despite the differences over policy and ministerial roles, senior figures from both sides have been speaking in support of a coalition during the weekend as the talks have continued.

Salvini, who leads the League party, issued a decree banning the Alan Kurdi ship, operated by the German Sea-Eye NGO, with 13 migrants overseas, from entering Italian waters, the second time in a week that he has acted to prevent rescue ships bringing migrants ashore. "We have taken some steps forward", said Graziano Delrio, lower house leader of Italy´s Democratic Party (PD). "Italy needs a government that averts a planned VAT tax increase and pulls the country out of the isolation in Europe caused by Salvini".

"Another chance like this one will not come again", the comedian said in a video posted on his blog.

But on Friday the prospect of a new deal almost collapsed when Luigi Di Maio, the Five Star leader, presented a 20-point plan with an ultimatum demanding every one of the proposals be accepted or he would back fresh elections.

The deal between the 5-Star and the PD would see Conte keep his position as the leader of a new cabinet. A poll published on Saturday by Corriere della Sera daily newspaper showed support for the League fell to 31.8% from a mid-July record high of 35.9%.

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