"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.
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.