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Matteo Salvini. Photo supplied

Salvini gets tough on EU, migrants

Anti-immigrantion Euroskeptic League leader Matteo Salvini told the Italian president Sergio Mattarella on Monday that the government with the M5S would start only if it was able to achieve its goals.

Published: May 15, 2018, 7:23 am

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    Lifting EU fiscal restrictions on policy making and keeping out migrants were paramount, as the League’s positions were tougher than the M5S’s. Mattarella has given the parties more time.

    Salvini told reporters that the possible new administration will “start if it can do things”. He said “if we realised that were not the case then we would stop”.

    He added: “I want children not to have roofs falling on their heads,” alluding to a roof collapse at a school on Monday.

    “I want firms to pay fewer taxes and today I have external limits that don’t allow me to, either we rediscuss the (EU) restrictions or it’s the book of dreams”.

    The League leader said: “If I go into government I want to do what I promised to do on what Italians voted for me to do. On the Fornero (pension law), avoiding the VAT hike, reducing duties on petrol, on immigration on which the League and the M5S start from a notable distance: with respect for human rights and the treaties, I refuse to think of the umpteenth summer and autumn of the business of clandestine immigration profiteering.

    “If we go into government we want a free hand to safeguard Italian security, also via a law on legitimate self-defence,” he said.

    Opinion polls showed the League rising, and Salvini noted that it would be in his party’s interests to return to the ballot box. But he said he would do his best to give Italy a government respecting voters’ wishes.

    He said he and M5S leader Luigi Di Maio “were not talking about names (for premier) but discussing more constructively and even in an animated fashion about the idea of Italy”.

    The League is busy consulting voters on the government contract between the two and will set up meeting points around the country next weekend for voters to vote yes or no, sources said on Monday.

    Di Maio dismissed fears about the delay, stating that “these are just the first consultations we have made” after agreeing to seek a government deal with the League.

    Di Maio said both he and Salvini “agreed on the fact that we won’t publicly name names”. He said that the M5S delegation had asked Mattarella for “a few more days” to complete the government programme in a “German-style” contract with the League.

    The two parties will signal to the president when they are ready, the sources said.

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