Euro slides below $1.18 on Italy debt concerns and dollar jump

Former PM Mario Monti discusses the governing plan by Italy’s populist coalition and its impact

Former PM Mario Monti discusses the governing plan by Italy’s populist coalition and its impact

"It would be insane to give up at the moment of truth", League leader Matteo Salvini said in a live video stream on Facebook, adding that he would not be intimidated by negative reaction from financial markets or attacks from the media. The text confirms that both parties want an "immediate withdrawal" of European Union sanctions against Russian Federation, to which both parties have grown close.

Speaking to reporters in parliament, Salvini said the policy agenda the two parties have been working on for a week was "almost finished", and he and 5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio would meet with President Sergio Mattarella "even before Monday". "The would-be coalition's denials that leaked draft policies were ever concrete plans also helped smooth markets", said Ken Odeluga, an analyst at City Index.

This year's "State of the Union" conference opened in Florence on Friday (11 May), coinciding with the news that Italy is likely to get a coalition government of two Eurosceptic forces, both keen on leaving the eurozone.

The dollar stood tall against a basket of currencies on Thursday, as the euro retreated to a five-month low on concerns the political developments in Italy could cause wider disruptions in the common currency bloc.

Italy, one of six founding members of what became the European Union, has been stuck in a political quagmire since its inconclusive March 4 election, which was dominated by a struggling economy, the refugee crisis and illegal immigration.

In a Facebook video, Di Maio said that the establishment feared change but "the more they attack us the more I am motivated" to reach a deal.

But that relaxed attitude could change if a populist government in Rome were to start a serious attempt to implement its vision for a return to the pre-Maastricht days. Italian shares also fell 1.8 per cent on Wednesday. Italy's 10-year bond yield climbed almost 19 basis points to 2.13 percent and that was its highest level since early March and the biggest one-day rise since March 2017.

The League's support largely is centered in northern Italy, where it backs lower taxes and reining in central government spending, a popular platform in Italy's most productive region.

They also share an anti-establishment sentiment that has taken root in Italy but which has worldwide parallels such as Britain's vote to leave the European Union and the USA election of President Donald Trump.

In currency markets, the euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.1822, after having set a five-month low of $1.1763 on Wednesday.

Di Maio said the joint program the two groups are drawing up is "almost completed", and called on the League not to pull out at the last moment. Each party plans to consult its supporters over the weekend to see if they back the nascent government pact. Di Maio has pledged to guarantee a minimum income to the unemployed.

Berlusconi has refused to govern with the 5-Stars, who he regards as "more unsafe than communists".

This would be the first time the 5-Star Movement has had a government role higher than the municipal level. There was still no word on the thorny issue of who would be prime minister.

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