Italy debt cancellation not in government programme - League economy spokesman

Movement leader Luigi Di Maio speaks following a talk with Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the Quirinal Palace in Rome

Italy's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the far-right League party will meet with the head of state by Monday to update him on their attempts to form a coalition government, League leader Matteo Salvini said on Wednesday.

The 39-page document, obtained by Huffington Post Italia, also calls for a renegotiation of Italy's European Union budget contributions, an end to sanctions against Russian Federation and plans to dismantle a 2011 pension reform that raised the retirement age.

With hard decisions to be taken, the League revived some of its campaign rhetoric, taking aim at European Union budget restraints which impose de facto limits on how much a government can spend to kick-start its economy.

Valdis Dombrovskis, the vice president of the European Commission, warned on Tuesday that Italy should maintain its commitment to gradually reduce the public deficit and debt. In particular, it had been decided "not to call into question the single currency", they said.

The two pre-election adversaries began negotiating a coalition deal last week, more than two months after an inconclusive March 4 election produced a hung parliament.

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According to reports, Salvini and Di Maio had been willing to make compromises over their flagship policies, the League's drastic drop in taxes and the 5-Star's universal basic income, which look tricky to reconcile in one of the Eurozone's most indebted countries.

The draft accord is likely to cause concern in Brussels and at European Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt.

This would cut 10 percentage points off Italy's debt/GDP ratio. The two parties dismissed the version as "old" and said they were no longer questioning the country's euro membership.

Both parties in the potential coalition arrangement have agreed to crack down on immigration to Italy, but exactly how and to what extent is believed to be one of the areas still up for agreement. The League plans to hold an informal referendum in city squares across Italy this weekend on any eventual deal, which anyone can vote in, while 5-Star plans an online ballot for its members. However the League still wants to leave the euro zone as soon as is politically feasible. Luigi Di Maio, leader of the Five Star Movement, said his party's call for a referendum on Italy's membership of the single currency was a "last resort" to force a relaxation of European Union fiscal rules. The 5 Star Movement emerged as the biggest party, but was seen as unlikely to enter into alliances.

Turning to other issues that have snarled Rome's relations with Europe, the draft calls for asylum seekers who arrive in Italy to be relocated automatically across the European Union.

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