Italian populists hold 2 days of votes on possible…

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MILAN (AP) – Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement has opened voting by its members on a program with the right-wing League party that could clear the way to Italy’s first populist government.

Luigi Di Maio, the 5-Star leader, assured his voters Friday that they would find the money to pay for social programs and tax cuts both through investments and upcoming negotiations in Brussels on the European Union’s seven-year budget cycle

Five-Star members are voting online, while backers of the League will vote Saturday in city and town centers. Di Maio and League leader Matteo Salvini are to present their program and minister list, including a premier candidate, to Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Monday.

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Five-Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio talks on the phone as he leaves the lower house of parliament, at the end of his meeting with League leader Matteo Salvini, in Rome, Thursday, May 17, 2018. Italy’s two populist leaders are brushing off fears in Brussels and the markets over the outlines of their possible government, and are insisting they are close to a deal designed to help ordinary Italians. (Angelo Carconi/ANSA via AP)

The program includes a minimum salary for struggling Italians and the introduction of a flat tax.

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Five-Star Movement (M5S) leader Luigi Di Maio walks in downtown Rome, Wednesday, May 18, 2018. Italy’s two populist leaders, League leader Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio are brushing off fears in Brussels and the markets over the outlines of their possible government, and are insisting they are close to a deal designed to help ordinary Italians. (Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP)

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Five-Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio talks on the phone as he leaves the lower house of parliament, at the end of his meeting with League leader Matteo Salvini, in Rome, Thursday, May 17, 2018. Italy’s two populist leaders are brushing off fears in Brussels and the markets over the outlines of their possible government, and are insisting they are close to a deal designed to help ordinary Italians. (Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP)

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