Populists blink: Italy’s populist parties reach new deal to form a government

Populists blink: Italy’s populist parties reach new deal to form a government. By Nick Squires.

Italy’s populist parties were finally given the green light to form a coalition government on Thursday evening, after they backed down over their initial selection of a deeply eurosceptic economy minister.

After days of intensive negotiations and pressure from the markets, the anti-immigrant, hard-Right League party and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement agreed to a compromise.

Both parties had come close to forming a government at the weekend, only for their efforts to be torpedoed by President Sergio Mattarella, who refused to approve their controversial choice of Paolo Savona as economy minister.

Paolo Savona, 81, has called Italy’s adoption of the euro a “historic error”, describing the single currency as “a German cage” and calling for a “plan B” that would allow the country to exit the eurozone.