8/26/2019, 9:13 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Italian PD's chief upbeat on coalition talks with M5S

Nicola Zingaretti, leader of Italy's center-left Democratic Party (PD), said on Monday that the latest round of talks with the Five Star Movement, or M5S, was "positive" and that he is "optimistic" about further discussions. The ruling party, led by Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, turned to the main opposition group in parliament after junior partner, the Northern League, withdrew from the coalition and demanded snap elections.

A new meeting is underway and unnamed sources from the PD said they would include outgoing Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, a nonpartisan figure, as Di Maio has insisted that he should continue to lead the cabinet. Democratic Senate whip Andrea Marcucci said there was no veto on Conte and that the focus is on "content," while ​Zingaretti asserted that his party is seeking "discontinuity" and "a turning point" and a clear break from the previous government's policies including names.

PD is demanding for ports to be opened to migrant rescue ships run by nongovernmental organizations. M5S is looking to slash the number of lawmakers to 600 from 945. The negotiations are set to finish tomorrow in the cabinet of President Sergio Mattarella.

Baha Breaking News (BBN) / IT