Italy’s 5-Star to ballot members after Draghi presents government agenda

Former European Central Bank President Mario Draghi pauses as he speaks after his meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, Italy

Italy’s 5-Star Movement will hold an online ballot of its members to decide whether to back a Mario Draghi government only after the Prime Minister-designate outlines an agenda, the group’s leader Vito Crimi said on Wednesday.

Late on Tuesday the anti-establishment movement, the largest group in parliament, postponed the ballot which had been due to take place over the next two days to decide the party’s stance.

“Saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to Draghi would be too simplistic… We news to vote a programme, and we are going to wait for Draghi to meet the unions and Italy’s business lobby,” Crimi told daily Corriere della Sera in an interview.

Former European Central Bank chief Draghi, 73, will meet the leaders of Italy’s main unions and of national business lobby Confindustria from around noon on Wednesday, the last meetings in his second round of consultations aimed at forging a new government.

He is expected to report back to Italy’s head of state and propose his list of cabinet ministers by Thursday.

Crimi added that the movement would not take part in a government led by Draghi “at all costs” but that it had been reassured by him on key policies.

“We have asked for some guarantees, obtaining reassurances on the European Stability Mechanism, on schools, on continuity with the government of (former Prime Minister Giuseppe) Conte.

Crimi denied that the 5-Star movement would split over the choice of joining Draghi’s government.

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