Italy’s populist leaders brush off EU concerns, say they are close to deal on govt

Italy’s two populist leaders have brushed off fears in Brussels and the markets over the outlines of their possible government. League leader Matteo Salvini and 5-Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio are insisting they are close to a deal designed to help ordinary Italians. They said talks on a joint contract - covering issues such as migration, labor reforms and tax cuts - could be ready as soon as Wednesday, AP reports. Ten weeks after inconclusive elections, both voiced willingness to step aside and let a third candidate be premier. They also taunted Brussels by warning that if EU capitals were concerned, “then we’re doing something right.” Di Maio promised dialogue with the EU, but warned that “we won’t be subordinates to some Eurocrats.”