ROME – Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said there is plenty more to be done on the populist agenda, including cutting the pay of the nation’s lawmakers.
“We are only at the end of the beginning,” Di Maio said in a New Year’s Day message two days after Parliament passed a budget that includes scaled-back income support for the poor and measures to lower the retirement age for some.
Di Maio, the head of coalition partner Five Star Movement, promised the passage of a “wonderful law” to trim the compensation for members of Parliament this year.
President Sergio Mattarella has sought to rein in Italy’s populist leaders: Di Maio and fellow Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini. In a New Year’s Eve address, the head of state warned that the country’s debt mountain, at more than 130 percent of gross domestic product, penalizes ordinary citizens.
In his remarks on Tuesday, Di Maio also promised to work on environmental and foreign affairs issues in 2019, adding that it was a pleasure to fight against those “who used public money and national laws to take advantage of a series of rights to which they weren’t entitled.”