Italy's 5-Star, League on verge of govt deal

Dollar stands tall as euro plumbs five-month low on Italian political uncertainty

The two parties have held six days of talks aimed at putting together a coalition government and ending 10 weeks of political stalemate following an inconclusive election on March 4.

In a Facebook video, Di Maio said that the establishment feared change but "the more they attack us the more I am motivated" to reach a deal.

Salvini and Di Maio have both agreed to drop their own ambitions to be prime minister and are looking for a candidate from outside their parties to enact their program.

"That's enough! Yet more unacceptable interference from someone never elected".

Not so long ago, a document as radical as the draft Italian coalition programme that surfaced on Tuesday night would have sent the markets into meltdown.

Italy's borrowing costs jumped and its stocks slid on the news even after Borghi said the request for debt forgiveness was not in an official draft of their program.

On Wednesday morning Salvini said that negotiations were nearing conclusion, while Di Maio confirmed the two parties could wrap up the "contract of government" within the day.

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EU Commission vice-president Jyrki Katainen had warned on Tuesday against the formation of a government that might disregard the terms of the EU's stability and growth pact.

This would cut 10 percentage points off Italy's debt/GDP ratio.

They have both vowed to scrap an unpopular pension reform - a move that would punch a 15-billion-euro (RM70 million) hole in state coffers.

Italy already has an enormous debt worth more than 130 percent of annual output, second only to Greece in the EU.

European Union leaders meeting in Sofia on Wednesday are likely to be concerned by the rhetoric of the parties, which could form a new Italian government as early as next week.

Another commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, was also quoted on Tuesday as weighing in on Italian politics, saying he hoped the new government maintained current immigration policies.

The partnership between the League's Matteo Salvini and Mr. Di Maio would represent a blow to mainstream European political parties across the continent.

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