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Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Italy's Berlusconi says will be coordinator of center-right

Italy's Berlusconi says will be coordinator of center-right

The Five Star Movement and Lega have been viewed as the key winners from the Italian general election on 4 March, but as Davide Vittori writes, the election was also about the decline of the Italian left.

In contrast, the ruling center-left coalition, composed of the Democratic Party and the liberal More Europe, mustered just 23 percent.

League leader Matteo Salvini said he had "the right and the duty" to form a government after its surprise success at the heart of a right-wing coalition.

The Lega Nord chief has said he has a "right" to govern after winning 17 percent of the vote in national elections.

"This will again lead to questions over the eurozone's ongoing sustainability", he said.

The anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) made significant gains in Sunday's vote though with 31% of the vote, it doesn't have enough seats to form government, according to state broadcaster RAI.

The day after the election which saw it take around 32 percent of the total vote, Di Maio said: "We are a political force that represents the whole country", adding: "This is why we are taking the responsibility of governing Italy". While the League still says it wants to leave the single currency at the earliest feasible moment, the 5-Star says the time for quitting the euro has passed.

With the vote count nearly complete, none of the three main factions had enough seats to govern alone.

It will now be up to President Sergio Mattarella, a constitutional scholar, to sound out the political parties to determine who has the best chances of forming a government.

Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's right-wing coalition, Forza Italia (Go Italy) is tipped to win the most seats the most seats in the lower house of Parliament.

Euroskeptics and populists rode a wave of hostility toward all things European Union and surged to the fore in Italian elections on Sunday, turning the founding European Union nation into a potential obstructionist just when the bloc was emerging from a decade of economic gloom and seemed poised to rekindle its grand ambitions. Berlusconi and Salvini huddled on Monday at the mogul's estate on Milan's outskirts, but there were no indications what strategy the two leaders might chart.

He was not concerned that the success of anti-EU parties would spark an Italian exit from the European Union as Italy's constitution does not allow for a referendum on the issue, but said the risk instead lay in the plans for increased spending.

Additionally, with the rise of Salvini and Cinque Stelle, Malta would have lost its traditional interlocutors within Italy's traditional mainstream parties, making it necessary to rebuild communication channels.

The PD also paid the price for widespread anger over an influx of more than 600,000 migrants over the past four years. "We will be watching the coalition negotiations closely for signs that they may start to drive a contagion effect among the continent's bond and equity markets, as was the case during the European sovereign bond crises earlier this decade".

A prolonged political stalemate could make heavily indebted Italy the focus of market concern in Europe, now that the threat of German instability has receded after the revival on Sunday of a grand coalition under Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"This is a very clear defeat for us", Michele Martina, a minister in the outgoing government, told reporters. It has fed off public fury over entrenched corruption and economic hardship. Its flagship proposal in the election campaign was a minimum monthly income of up to €780 for the poor, helping it draw overwhelming support in the underdeveloped south.

For roughly a quarter-century following the political upheaval in Europe set in motion by the demise of Eastern bloc communism, Italy's elections had largely alternated power between a center-right coalition headed by Berlusconi, who served three terms as premier, and a center-left bloc built around the Democratic Party, many of them former communists.

"It's what we expected, political deadlock".

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