Italy's Salvini drops calls for government to quit, urges unity on reforms
By Gavin Jones ROME (Reuters) - Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy's right-wing League party, has suddenly dropped his calls for the government to resign and is instead proposing that all the main parties work together to solve the country's most pressing problems. Salvini's switch from fierce opposition to appeals for collaboration have left many observers puzzled, with some interpreting it as a sign that he is losing hope that the fractious ruling coalition will collapse any time soon.
By Gavin Jones
ROME (Reuters) - Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy's right-wing League party, has suddenly dropped his calls for the government to resign and is instead proposing that all the main parties work together to solve the country's most pressing problems.
Salvini's switch from fierce opposition to appeals for collaboration have left many observers puzzled, with some interpreting it as a sign that he is losing hope that the fractious ruling coalition will collapse any time soon.
"Let's sit around a table and find agreement on five priorities for the country: savings, growth policies, justice, infrastructure and health before it's too late, then we can have an election," the League chief tweeted on Monday.
Even if it were possible for the parties to find common ground on all these areas it would be a long and arduous process taking months if not years.
In an interview with private television station Canale 5, Salvini added that a new electoral law would also have to be agreed, and said the League was not asking for a role in government while the reform process went on.
The League is Italy's most popular party, with some 30% of voter support, according to opinion polls, but recently Salvini has hit some headwinds and support for his party has flattened out.
A grassroots movement known as "the sardines", launched only a month ago in opposition to Salvini, has quickly gathered momentum with a spate of well-attended rallies, and on Saturday tens of thousands joined a demonstration in Rome.
At the same time Salvini is finding it harder to exploit his core campaigning theme of immigration, as migrant arrivals have dwindled and the new government, which took office in September, is managing to re-locate more among other EU states.
"It may be that Salvini has realised that the head of state Sergio Mattarella will never dissolve parliament, so playing nice is the only option left," said Francesco Galietti, head of political risk consultancy Policy Sonar.
Italy's new coalition of 5-Star and the centre-left Democratic Party has bickered constantly since it came to power, but it looks set to fulfil its first main task of approving a 2020 budget without friction with the European Commission.
The League chief's call for "a national rescue committee" got a cold reception from his far-right ally Giorgia Meloni, head of the Brothers of Italy party, which is growing in support.
"It's an incomprehensible proposal," Meloni said in an interview with daily Corriere della Sera on Monday.
(Editing by Gareth Jones)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
By Foo Yun Chee BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union's executive on Friday wrapped up preliminary talks with French drugmaker Sanofi aimed at securing its COVID-19 vaccine for the 27-country EU bloc, the latest deal with vaccine producers. Armed with an emergency fund of more than 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion), the European Commission wants to strike deals with up to six drugmakers for their vaccines for their 450 million citizens against the coronavirus that has killed 674,000 people worldwide
By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer spending increased for a second straight month in June, setting up consumption for a rebound in the third quarter, though the recovery could be limited by a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and the end of expanded unemployment benefits.
By Steve Holland and Daphne Psaledakis WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States intensified its economic pressure on China's Xinjiang province on Friday, imposing sanctions on a powerful Chinese company and two officials for what it said were human rights abuses against Uighurs and other ethnic minorities. The move, the latest blow to U.S.-China relations, came a week after U.S