Berlusconi Opens Door To Anti-Establishment Coalition In Italy

In a statement published Wednesday night in Italy, flamboyant former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he'd be open to an agreement between the League and the Five-Star Movement (otherwise known as M5S) to form a ruling coalition that wouldn't include his center-right party, Forza Italia.

M5S - an anti-establishment populist movement that emerged several years ago and has since become the dominant political force on the peninsula, winning a plurality of votes during the March federal elections - can now move to join the League - a right-wing anti-immigrant party that teamed up with Forza Italia to create a "center-right coalition" during the runup to the March vote - to form a government.

If successful, the coalition government would avert the appointment of a "neutral" technocratic prime minister that would've been tasked with governing Italy until another election could be held - a scenario that was suggested by Italian President Sergio Mattarella during an announcement earlier this week, where he asked Italian lawmakers to back the idea for the good of the country.

At the time, Mattarella said the technocrats would run the country until another vote to be held early next year, or until a coalition could be formed. His suggestion was immediately denounced by Italian politicians from across the political spectrum, who tend to believe technocrats lack the accountability necessary to reform Italy's political system.

Here's a summary of the statement courtesy of Bloomberg:

  • Says cannot “give our consent to a government which includes the Five Star Movement”
  • Adds that if another force of the center-right creates a government with Five Star, will respect that choice
  • “Certainly not up to us to impose vetoes”
  • Says will assess individual measures taken by administration

The decision comes shortly after Mattarella gave the two parties another 24 hours to try and form a coalition.

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