European Union accused of 'interfering' in Italian politics

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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 4 March.

The shocking report, which outlines demands for the European Union to write off Italian debt amounting to €250 billion (£220 billion), comes as Lega leader Matteo Salvini said Italians will no longer be "slaves" to the EU.

Mr. Berlusconi, 81, the colorful and polarizing four-time prime minister who resigned from his last government in disgrace in 2011, has been an unexpected wild card in the process. Leaked drafts of their government "contract" include provision for a "conciliation committee" to settle expected disagreements. This is the biggest one-day rise since July 2017, Reuters data shows.

The 39-page draft, obtained by Huffington Post Italia, reflected the difficulties the two pre-election rivals face in finding the resources needed to pay for promises they made to their voters during the campaign.

But some analysts fear that if the radical new government they elected does push ahead with its promised policies, the result could be a Greek-style banking and debt crisis in the eurozone's third-largest economy.

Italy already has an enormous debt worth more than 130 per cent of annual output, second only to Greece in the EU. Salvini dismissed concerns about the widening gap, or spread, between Italy's benchmark bonds and safer German ones as a sign the two potential partners were on the right track.

"The combination of higher oil prices, higher dollar and stronger yields are starting to potentially weigh on investor sentiment", said Katie Nixon, chief investment officer for wealth management division of Northern Trust in Chicago.

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Borghi called on 5-Star to recognise the need to take on Brussels and got a response from its leader Luigi Di Maio.

Brussels has called on the next Italian government, which is likely to be formed by Eurosceptic parties, to remain on the "European path" and not tear up the EU's strategy for controlling migration.

With tensions high, Valdis Dombrovskis, the vice-president of the European Commission, warned that Italy should maintain its commitment to gradually reduce the public deficit and debt.

"Italy were already fancied to be the next country to exit the European Union at 9/4 and recent coalition talks have only extended their lead at the front of the queue to 6/4". Both groups have a history of euroscepticism. 5-Star has moderated its position considerably in the past year, rowing back on a previous plan to hold a referendum on Italy's membership of the currency bloc.

It is still far from clear whether Five Star and the League are prepared to go all the way - and in fact the bluster on the euro may simply be the product of a political compromise in their negotiations that will never translate into policy. They also taunted Brussels by warning that if European Union capitals were concerned, "then we're doing something right".

Late on Tuesday, a draft coalition program for the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the far-right League leaked.

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