05:30 GMT14 May 2021
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    ROME (Sputnik) - Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said Wednesday he did not want a snap election after his Lega party outperformed the Five Star Movement (M5S) in the EU Parliament vote.

    "I do not want it. I should be technically pushing for it because some say this could double our votes and seats in parliament. But I want to continue working as we did in the past nine months," he told reporters.

    Salvini’s right-wing Lega is a junior partner in the Italian coalition government. It won 34 percent of the vote in last Sunday’s European Parliament election, twice as much as the M5S.

    This outcome has caused a lot of soul-searching in the defeated M5S, including calls for the resignation of its leader, Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, who said a party vote would take place this Thursday. 

    Italian Deputy Prime Minister and leader of far-right League party Matteo Salvini speaks during his European Parliament election night event in Milan, Italy, May 27, 2019
    © REUTERS / Guglielmo Mangiapane
    Earlier, Mr Salvini dismissed a warning from Brussels that it could impose a three-billion-euro fine on Italy over the way it handles its increasing public debt. "Let us recover our right to growth and the future", Salvini said in Rome as quoted by the AFP news agency. 

    His reaction came after the EU had said that Italy's public debt could increase to a record 133.7 per cent of its GDP by the end of the year and even to 135.2 per cent in 2020, thus doubling the EU's 60 per cent limit.

    European Parliament elections, public debt, economy, Luigi Di Maio, Matteo Salvini, Italy, EU
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