Two Italian populist parties that are expected to lead the next government have asked for more time to reach a coalition agreement — prolonging political uncertainty that has enshrouded the country since early March.
The Five Star Movement (M5S) and Lega — the former was the most popular single party at the March general election while the latter gathered the highest amount of votes within a right-wing coalition — have been in negotiations for more than two months, trying to overcome their differences. They had until Sunday night to come up with an agreement, but have asked the Italian president for a few more days to prepare the final details of their deal.
"It seems that serious frictions have started to emerge between the two parties," UniCredit analysts said in a note Tuesday morning.
"While to us there appears that there is agreement on several key policy areas, divergences have been emerging on such thorny issues as immigration, justice and the relationship with the EU," they added.