Euro vote unless financial change says Five Star

PHOTO: World Bulletin

ROME - The leader of the populist Five Star Movement, Luigi Di Maio, announced Sunday that an Italian referendum on leaving the euro was not off the table. Speaking on Italian state television, Di Maio explained that his party will not rule out the option of a vote on leaving the single currency if the Five Star party is elected and fails to renegotiate economic terms with the EU. “If we succeed, Europe will be changed and we won’t need a referendum on the euro. Otherwise, we’ll ask Italians if they want to stay in or not.”

 The Five Star party have continued to issue careful warnings to the EU. Earlier this month, Di Maio had told Reuters that holding a vote on the EU would be a “last resort,” and that “if it reforms, the EU can be a solution to many of our problems.” He also described EU-wide welfare policies tackling growing poverty and inequality in many countries as highly beneficial. However, according to the news agency, the Five Star leader also called for more law-making powers for the European Parliament as it is the only directly elected EU body.

 Whilst the Five Star party have changed their tune since 2014, when they lobbied for leaving the single currency, Di Maio’s comments suggest that the populist left-wing party will be demanding great reforms from the European Union. His statements come merely a few weeks before Parliament’s dissolution for the upcoming Italian general election.