Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Leak of Italian government programme rattles financial markets

The political upheaval in Italy doesn’t pose a systemic risk according to Bluebay’s David Riley The political upheaval in Italy doesn’t pose a systemic risk according to Bluebay’s David Riley
Kenny Thornton | 17 May, 2018, 18:04

Luigi Di Maio of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and Matteo Salvini of the anti-immigrant League met on Thursday morning to review sections on the European Union, deficit spending, a flat tax and immigration, a Five Star official said.

5-Star's parliamentary party leader Danilo Toninelli told state television Rai: "The only way to get a serious government is to return to the polls".

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.

Mattarella has said if political leaders can't form a coalition he'll appoint a non-political person to lead Italy to an early election by year's end.

Fed up with the country's long, seemingly irreversible economic decline, persistent high unemployment and a refugee and migrant crisis, Italy's voters turned on the political centre that has governed (or failed to govern) Italy since the 1980s.

"They are preparing excuses if they can not maintain all their promises, so they want to unleash a battle against the European Union", said Andrea Romano, a lawmaker from the centre-left Democratic party.

"I'm still sceptical on the euro, there is a lot of headline risk", Saxo bank's Hardy said, adding the worry for lira was that investors will bolt even before they know Erdogan's post- election plans.

Mr. Di Maio said he understood that an alliance of the 5-Star Movement and the League may "scare a part of the European establishment".

While Five Star's Di Maio's programme is compared to a child's picture book (above), Italian President Sergio Mattarella is pictured (below) in imagined consultations with potential coalition partners.

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"There will be utmost dialogue with Europe, but we will not be subordinate to Eurocrats", he said.

Italian stocks tumbled 2.3 per cent while Italy's 10-year bond yield jumped almost 19 basis points to 2.13 per cent.

On Tuesday, the League said it was ready to wage war on the European Union budget rules and put "Italians first".

5-Star and the League said in a statement that the draft, which was dated 14 May, was "an old version that has been considerably modified".

This would be the first time the 5-Star Movement has had a government role higher than the municipal level. But both said they haven't gotten to that point yet.

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

"The big turnaround was the Japanese yen, there is clearly big time (U.S. vs Japan) rate sensitivity there", said Saxo Bank's head of FX strategy John Hardy. Di Maio has pledged to guarantee a minimum income to the unemployed. Each party plans to consult its supporters over the weekend to see if they back the nascent government pact.

"A markedly Eurosceptic prime minister.as well as concrete support for the introduction of a parallel currency (so-called "Minibots"), would be major negatives, in our view", a note from Credit Suisse argued on Wednesday.

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