Italy's rival populist leaders to report on coalition talks

Five-star and the League are moving closer

"Some have said it's a threat to the people", Di Maio told reporters shortly after meeting League leader Matteo Salvini.

In a separate report, Bloomberg noted that Italy's President Sergio Mattarella has indicated that he does not intend to rubber stamp whatever they decide.

Di Maio and Salvini will meet in Rome on Monday before updating the president.

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Italy, one of six founding members of what became the European Union, has been stuck in a political quagmire since its inconclusive March 4 election, which was dominated by a struggling economy, the refugee crisis and illegal immigration. With neither willing to cede the premiership to the other, it was expected they would suggest that the president tap someone acceptable to them both to lead the coalition.

Di Maio claimed to the media that the two parties have agreed that the next prime minister will be a "political figure and not a technocrat" as had previously been speculated. The.

Both Salvini and Di Maio have clearly stated that Berlusconi and Forza Italia will not be joining the alliance, although no decision has been made regarding the extreme far-right party, the Brothers of Italy.

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"It's being called a populist government".

The forerunner of Salvini's League, the Northern League, was the main partner in the three center-right governments headed by former Premier Silvio Berlusconi starting in 1994.

The League's support largely is centered in northern Italy, where it backs lower taxes and reining in the central government it considers wasteful.

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Salvini and Di Maio are also ready to make compromises over their flagship policies - the League's drastic drop in taxes and Five Star's universal basic income - which look tricky to reconcile in one of the eurozone's most indebted countries.

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