May 9, 2018 / 2:14 PM / 4 months ago

Italy's Salvini says talks on-going, no response yet to government deal

ROME (Reuters) - The leader of Italy’s far-right League party said on Wednesday he was working to close a deal on the formation of a government with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and there was much still to decide.

League party leader Matteo Salvini (C) speaks next to President of Fratelli d'Italia party (Brothers of Italy) Giorgia Meloni (L) and Forza Italia leader Silvio Berlusconi following a talk with Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the Quirinale palace in Rome, Italy, May 7, 2018. Italian Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

President Sergio Mattarella said earlier in the day he would delay naming a prime minister for 24 hours after 5-Star and the League told him they were holding last-minute talks to try to clinch a coalition accord.

5-Star has refused to do a deal with the League’s ally, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia. League leader Matteo Salvini said that whatever happened, he would not split with Forza Italia, adding he still had to discuss plans with Berlusconi.

“It isn’t done. If it were done, I would tell you. I am not selling smoke,” Salvini told reporters. “We are not going to break any alliance. This is a prerequisite.”

Reporting by Steve Scherer; editing by Crispian Balmer

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