Italy's League and 5-Star attack EU budget rules after vote
ROME: Italy's far-right League party and the 5-Star Movement, which both performed strongly in this month's inconclusive national election, attacked European Union budget rules on Tuesday, saying they must be overhauled.
The March 4 election ended in gridlock, with the League becoming the biggest member of a right-wing coalition that took a combined 37 percent of the vote, and the anti-system 5-Star emerging as the largest party in parliament on 32 percent.
Neither of the two has enough seats to govern alone, but they would have a majority in both houses if they joined forces. Starting next month, the country's president will begin to cajole rivals into finding common ground on which they could govern together.
Speaking at separate events, League leader Matteo Salvini and 5-Star's Luigi Di Maio agreed that a budget deficit ceiling of 3 percent of economic output set under EU rules was hurting economic growth and should be changed.
"On the deficit, it seems that by now everyone agrees this parameter should be revised and replaced. Now we should see how," Di Maio told foreign reporters in Rome.
Earlier in the day, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Salvini said the deficit limit was "one of those rules, written around a table, which we are happy to respect if they help people live better, but if in the name of those constraints we have to fire, close and destabilise, no".