Matteo Salvini slams Angela Merkel over Government delays amid Italian standoff | World | News

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Speaking on Rete4 Quinta Colonna, the die-hard eurosceptic claimed Italians were “better than Germans” and that he will manage to form a new Government in less than six months, as he led the largest political coalition in the March 4

As he was reminded German Chancellor  struggled to form a government for almost six months after the September 2017 federal election, Mr Salvini replied: “Well, we are better than the Germans so we need to take less time to do it.

“We have nothing to envy them for.”

But Italy remains locked in a political standoff as talks aimed at securing a government following last month’s election stall.

The first day of the second round of consultations called by Italian President Sergio Mattarella ended with the relationship between the main parties worsened.

Members of the centre-right coalition, which emerged as the largest bloc following the March 4 election but fell short of a majority, presented a joint programme to President Mattarella to demonstrate their unity.

In the press conference that followed, Lega leader Mr Salvini said Forza Italia, Brothers of Italy and his party were ready to take on the responsibility of forming a government as a united front.

Speaking in the name of the whole coalition, the anti-EU leader also said Lega would indicate the name of the person who should lead the government.

He added: “If we continue with a political game of tactics, of ‘no’ and of vetoes while Italians suffer and wait for solutions, it would mean that the demand for change that emerged from the March 4 elections won’t be met.”

Mr Salvini referred to last week’s veto posed by Five Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio, who said he wasn’t open to collaborate with Mr Berlusconi.

Last week Luigi Di Maio, leader of the Five Star Movement, unleashed a scathing attack on Lega leader Matteo Salvini with a tweet in which he claimed there were “zero per cent chances” of forming a Government with Silvio Berlusconi, who joined Matteo Salvini in a pre-election alliance.

Speaking at a local election rally in Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Matteo Salvini responded to the stern warning claiming a new alliance which would exclude Silvio Berlusconi from the next Government was not on the cards.

He said: “I couldn’t care less about Di Maio at the moment.

“There is no one else but us in charge of the centre-right coalition, we can’t create new alliances every day.

“Luckily, we have phones in 2018, I will call Di Maio and I will ask him to meet me to discuss whether he is open to collaborating to give Italian people the mandate they have voted for.

“Italians are asking us to act now. Whether or not we like each other and despite the veto they’re trying to impose on us, shall we act or not?

“If the answer is no, then the numbers are just numbers, we can go back to the polls.”

The die-hard eurosceptic added he was open for dialogue provided Mr Di Maio would stop imposing impossible vetos on who would be the Prime Minister and who else would be included in the new coalition.

He said: “Five Star Movement should stop imposing vetos trying to put themselves at the centre of the universe. They came second, not first.”

Angela Merkel’s conservatives agreed on a formal coalition deal with the Social Democrats (SPD) as Germany’s five-month wait for a new government came to an end last February.

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