Italy’s Democratic party ready to form government with M5S, leader says | World news

The head of Italy’s opposition Democratic party (PD), Nicola Zingaretti, said he has told the head of state his group is ready to try to form a government with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S).

Nicola Zingaretti has been in fraught discussions with the M5S, a longstanding rival of the PD, in an attempt to form a strong government after the collapse of the M5S’s alliance with the far-right League.

Zingaretti said his party supported the attempt to carve out a new majority while stressing the need to build a “turning point” government that breaks from the past.

“We need a government that convinces Italians that economic difficulties can be overcome,” he said after meeting the president, Sergio Mattarella, on Wednesday.

He added that the PD also accepted “the proposal of M5S to indicate the prime minister”.

Zingaretti did not explicitly name who the prime minister would be but his party said earlier on Wednesday that it had accepted demands from M5S to reinstate the outgoing prime minister, Giuseppe Conte.

Zingaretti and Luigi Di Maio, the M5S leader, have been under pressure to strike a deal in an attempt to avert elections that could create western Europe’s first fully far-right government, despite their personal reservations and resistance from factions within their parties.

Mattarella, who has the power to dissolve parliament and call new elections, is holding a consultation with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.

He will meet the League’s Matteo Salvini at 6pm CET and Di Maio at 7pm.

If he gives a mandate for a new government to be formed, the parties will probably be given a few more days to formalise a plan.

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