Five Star and Democratic Party Negotiations Ongoing in Italy

(Follow-up on last week’s Italy: One Coalition Falls, Another Rises?)

Prime Minister Conte submitted his resignation and sounded the death knell of the odd couple atop Italy’s politics last week – but not before delivering a scathing speech in which he roasted League leader Matteo Salvini, calling him an ‘opportunist’ who betrayed the country and risked bringing about its ruin.

The decision of what to do next then fell to President Sergio Mattarella, who authorized other parties to engage in coalition negotiations, all while imposing the tight deadline of getting it done by Tuesday.

And so Democratic Party (PD) leader Nicola Zingaretti had the expected change of heart about working with his former political enemies, and coalition negotiations between PD and the Five Star Movement (M5S) were launched and are currently ongoing. Talks are said to be snagged on the issue of who would be prime minister under a PD-M5S tie-up. Zignaretti is said to be pushing for M5S member Roberto Fico, who has been a vocal critic of Salvini; and Luigi Di Maio is pushing for Conte’s re-instatement. Di Maio has also insisted on an agreement to reduce the number of lawmakers in Parliament, a long-time policy goal of M5S.