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Italy’s rival populist leaders summoned for coalition talks

Luigi Di Maio of the 5-Star Movement and Matteo Salvini of the anti-migrant League will meet the president.

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Italian president Sergio Mattarella will host the two populist leaders in a bid to break the political deadlock (AP)

Italian president Sergio Mattarella will host the two populist leaders in a bid to break the political deadlock (AP)

Italian president Sergio Mattarella will host the two populist leaders in a bid to break the political deadlock (AP)

Italy’s president has summoned rival populist leaders to see if they have nailed down a coalition deal, more than 10 weeks after elections led to a political impasse.

Luigi Di Maio, who leads the 5-Star Movement, and Matteo Salvini, head of the anti-migrant League, have separate appointments to brief Italy’s head of state, President Sergio Mattarella, at the Quirinal Palace.

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The League’s leader Matteo Salvini (AP)

The League’s leader Matteo Salvini (AP)

AP/PA Images

The League’s leader Matteo Salvini (AP)

The two Eurosceptics met for hours on Sunday and several times last week to iron out policy differences for a deal that could satisfy largely different constituencies.

Both ran for premier in March 4 elections for the Italian parliament. With neither side willing to cede to the other, it is expected they will suggest that Mr Mattarella should appoint someone else as premier.

The 5-Star Movement became the parliament’s largest party, but fell some way short of a majority.

PA