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Italy's League says EU's Oettinger should quit over Italy comments

European Union Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger holds a news conference to present the EU executive's final proposal for the bloc's next long-term budget, in Brussels, Belgium, May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s League leader, Matteo Salvini, said on Tuesday that European Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger should resign, accusing him of telling Italians how they should vote.

“Can you imagine such disdain for democracy ... he should resign this afternoon,” Salvini said on Facebook, referring to an interview in which Oettinger was quoted as saying he hoped financial markets would be a signal for Italians that they should not vote for populists.

Markets sold off Italian assets this week amid political turmoil. The League was ready to form a government with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, until the attempt fell apart due to a dispute over their proposal for economy minister.

Salvini said Oettinger’s comments were “threatening” and showed a “German desire for hegemony and control”.

Reporting By Gavin Jones