Star Movement and League strike governing deal for Italy

In League Matteo Salvini

Italy's next prime minister could be an independent figure who is not a member of either the 5-Star movement or the League and a government could be sworn in next week if all goes well, a top 5-Star member said in a newspaper interview published on Friday.

Di Maio said that the nominee would be a politician and "not a technocrat" after meeting Salvini in Milan on Sunday.

Scrapping the unpopular pension reform would cost €15bn, another €12.5bn is needed to head off the planned hike in sales tax, and the parties are also considering printing a new, special-purpose currency to pay off state debts to firms, reported Reuters.

The two parties - the largest groups in the legislature and together able to muster a majority in both houses - were adversaries before the March 4 national election, which produced a hung parliament.

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Di Maio and Salvini will meet in Rome on Monday before updating the president. A neutral "non-party" candidate is likely to be chosen as the new prime minister.

Italy's 5-Star Movement and League neared a deal on Monday which they hope will fuse their very different election platforms into a workable coalition government, hours before pivotal talks with the country's president.

There are also some policy sticking points between the League and Five Star - such as on major public works like the Turin-Lyon high-speed railway - and they also need to agree on representation from the parties.

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