Exclusive: 5-Star leader says could back broad Italy government - source

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 31, 2018 1:54 PM

ROME (Reuters) - The leader of Italy's 5-Star Movement told international investors on Wednesday that he would be willing to govern with mainstream parties of left and right if a March 4 election produces no clear winner, a source told Reuters.

Luigi Di Maio met representatives of some of the world's largest investors and hedge funds at a private club in London's exclusive Knightsbridge district, to explain 5-Star's policies and the political prospects after the election.

"Di Maio said repeatedly that if he does not have enough seats to govern alone, he saw the likelihood of a government backed by all the main parties, including 5-Star," said the source who was in the room during the day's meetings.

Di Maio has gradually shifted the anti-establishment party away from its former refusal to form any kind of alliance, but he had never before said explicitly he would be willing to collaborate with 5-Star's main opponents.

The ruling Democratic Party (PD) and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's center-right Forza Italia are the fiercest adversaries of 5-Star, which is the most popular single party, according to opinion polls.

"He said if the election throws up political stalemate he envisaged a 4-way ruling majority made up of 5-Star, the PD, Forza Italia and the Northern League," said the source, who asked not to be named because of the political sensitivity of the issue.

(Reporting By Gavin Jones, editing by Crispian Balmer)