Italy’s anti-establishment parties sign accord to form ruling coalition

Italy’s two anti-establishment parties have signed an accord to form a ruling coalition, promising to ramp up spending and putting the nation on a collision course with the EU, Reuters reported. The League and the 5-Star Movement won the most parliamentary seats in inconclusive elections on March 4. Their “contract” has still to be approved by the parties’ memberships, in votes to be concluded by Sunday. The document calls for billions of euros in tax cuts, additional spending on welfare for the poor and a roll-back of pension reforms in the eurozone’s third-largest economy. The final accord, however, dropped a proposal that would have posed the most direct challenge to EU fiscal rules, and sought to assure rattled investors that the government blueprint did not include any plans for an exit from the euro.