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article imageItaly's centre-left leaves door open for Five Star

By AFP     Apr 24, 2018 in Politics

Italy's centre-left took a tentative step Tuesday towards ending weeks of political deadlock, saying it was "willing to think about" joining forces with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S0.

On Monday Italian President Sergio Mattarella tasked speaker of the lower house Roberto Fico with seeing if a M5S/PD government could be formed after talks between the M5S and a rightwing coalition led by the nationalist League party failed.

The Democratic Party (PD) had previously refused to countenance being "a crutch" to an M5S government.

However, on Tuesday interim PD leader Maurizio Martina said he would consider negotiating with the M5S, should they confirm that their talks with the far-right League were definitively closed.

M5S leader Luigi Di Maio late Monday appeared to slam the door on Matteo Salvini's League, which is partnered with Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia and minor far-right party Brothers of Italy, after Salvini refused Di Maio's demand that the League dump Berlusconi and come to the negotiating table alone.

"If Di Maio's recent significant announcements are confirmed, we're ready to assess the new situation," Martina said to reporters after meeting Fico on Tuesday.

The PD led a coalition that came third in last month's election with around 23 percent of the vote but has enough seats in both the lower and upper houses to form a majority with the M5S, which is Italy's largest single party after picking up 33 percent.

It has refused to partner Di Maio's M5S up to now due to the fierce attacks it has been subject to from the M5S since it first entered parliament in 2013.

Later Tuesday Fico, a M5S MP, will meet a delegation from his own party to see if there can be further discussions with the PD.

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