Italy 'very important' to European Union, says Juncker

Italy's populist government is still a work in progress

Italy, along with Greece, has borne the brunt of the migration crisis, while other European Union countries such.

The news drove up Italian bond yields and the cost of insuring Italy's debt against default, before Claudio Borghi, the League's economics chief, told Reuters the request for debt forgiveness was never in an official draft of their program. Di Maio told reporters in parliament "the recipe to lower public debt is by investments and expansionary policies".

In foreign policy, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League called for the immediate withdrawal of European Union sanctions against Russian Federation, imposed over Moscow's annexation of Crimea and military support of separatists in eastern Ukraine.

A draft of the accord reviewed by Reuters earlier on Thursday spelt out a spending plan that would breach European Union rules on fiscal discipline: cutting taxes, increasing welfare payments for the poor and scrapping an unpopular pension reform.

Both parties in the potential coalition arrangement have agreed to crack down on immigration to Italy, but exactly how and to what extent is believed to be one of the areas still up for agreement.

The "contract" by the League and the 5-Star Movement, the two parties that won the most parliamentary seats in inconclusive elections on March 4, has still to be approved by their memberships in informal votes to be concluded by Sunday.

Berlusconi has refused to govern with the 5-Stars, who he regards as "more unsafe than communists". However the League still wants to leave the euro zone as soon as is politically feasible.

Italy's 10-year government bond yield is 20 bps below levels traded a year ago and 190 bps lower than where they were 5 years ago.

Residents split on Central Intelligence Agency director nomination
Haspel now claims the Nuremberg defense of she was just obeying orders both in supervising torture and destroying the tapes. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said the nomination was not just about Haspel, but the US grappling with its past mistakes.

According to Italian media reports, their nominee for Prime Minister is likely be from a "third party" and will have to be able to make the eurosceptic nature of the new government workable with Brussels.

Italy's borrowing costs have been rising as details of the accord emerge, though they stabilized after a sell-off on Wednesday.

The gap between the yields on Italy's benchmark bonds and safer German bonds was at its widest since early January as Italian 10-year yields were set for their biggest two-day jump since March last year.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the nascent Italian government was made up of "heterogeneous and paradoxical" forces, but expressed confidence that Mattarella would ensure Italy continued to work constructively in the EU.

The draft pact proposed a new "universal income" for the poor costed at 17 billion euros (RM79.9 billion), while it said a planned softening of an unpopular pension reform would cost 5 billion euros (RM23.5 billion). The League's hallmark scheme, a flat tax rate of 15 percent for companies and individuals, is estimated to reduce tax revenues by 80 billion euros per year.

They are now using less strident tones, and a 5-Star official said on Friday any plans to raise the budget deficit will first be discussed with Brussels in a "courteous" way.

Both leaders said the final policy document would be put to their voters before being submitted to the president, Sergio Mattarella, who has the final say on the contract, prime minister and cabinet lineup.

Each party plans to consult its supporters over the weekend to see if they back the possible pact for government.

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