January 9, 2018 / 4:56 PM / 9 months ago

Italy's 5-Star says it is no longer time to leave the euro

ROME (Reuters) - The leader of Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement which leads opinion polls ahead of a March 4 election said on Tuesday that pulling Italy out of the euro zone was no longer a goal of his party.

FILE PHOTO: 5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio gestures during an interview with journalists in Rimini, Italy September 24, 2017. REUTERS/Max Rossi/File Photo

5-Star has steadily rowed back on a previous commitment to hold a referendum on Italy’s euro zone membership as it tries to reassure voters and investors that it can be trusted with power.

“I believe it is no longer the right moment for Italy to leave the euro,” Di Maio said in an interview with state television company RAI. “The referendum is a last resort which I hope to avoid,” he added.

Di Maio has previously said that 5-Star will only pursue the idea of a referendum on the euro if it is unable to win any concessions from its partners to soften euro zone fiscal rules.

Reporting by Massimiliano Di Giorgio, writing by Gavin Jones; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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