May 30, 2018 / 5:41 PM / 19 days ago

Italy's League chief cool on 5-Star proposal to relegate Savona

ROME (Reuters) - The leader of Italy’s far-right League gave a cool reception on Wednesday to a proposal by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement to launch a government together while ditching their contested candidate for economy minister.

League party leader Matteo Salvini speaks at the media after a round of consultations with Italy's newly appointed Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the Lower House in Rome, Italy, May 24, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

In televised comments to party supporters, League chief Matteo Salvini did not directly answer an appeal by 5-Star that the two parties give an alternative role in government to Paolo Savona, while finding a new economy minister.

“I hope we can launch a government, we’ll see in the coming hours,” Salvini said.

However, in an apparent reference to the proposal by 5-Star head Luigi Di Maio, he added an analogy between ministers and footballers: “if someone is a goalkeeper he has to play as goalkeeper, if someone is a striker he has to play as a striker.”

5-Star and the League proposed Savona as economy minister in a coalition that seemed poised to take office last week, but the head of state vetoed Savona due to his views on the euro, leading to renewed political uncertainty.

Reporting By Gavin Jones

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