What political factions want

Silvio Berlusconi.
Silvio Berlusconi.
 Luigi Di Maio.
Luigi Di Maio.
Matteo Renzi .
Matteo Renzi .

FORZA ITALIA (GO ITALY)

Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is back on the political scene leading his centre-right Forza Italia (Go Italy) party in coalition with two far-right parties: the League, headed by Mr Matteo Salvini, and the smaller Brothers of Italy led by Ms Giorgia Meloni.

The right-wing coalition was ahead in the final opinion polls published last month, but it is an uneasy alliance.

The parties agree on immigration, which is key to the coalition's political agenda, promising to not only stop migrants from arriving in Italy but also to deport hundreds of thousands.

They are also pledging to wage war on austerity, invest in the labour market and renegotiate European Union (EU) fiscal rules which punish high-debt countries such as Italy.

The coalition has proposed a controversial flat tax but has squabbled over the rate. While Mr Berlusconi has put the rate at 23 per cent, Mr Salvini is promising just 15 per cent.


FIVE STAR MOVEMENT (M5S)

Created in 2009 by outspoken former comic Beppe Grillo, the anti-establishment M5S has risen to prominence amid an outpouring of frustration and anger with mainstream political parties.

Its leader Luigi Di Maio has recently softened the party's tone on Europe, abandoning the idea of a referendum on dropping the single euro currency.

Instead, it has gone big on a universal basic income scheme, a proposal which has made it particularly popular with young voters in a country where unemployment for those aged 25 to 34 runs at 17 per cent.

It is also pledging income-tax cuts and pension hikes and has promised to slash Italy's infamous red tape for businesses.

Its solution to the migrant crisis is to forge bilateral agreements with the countries of origin for the repatriation of illegal immigrants.


CENTRE-LEFT BLOC

Former premier Matteo Renzi looks unlikely to win back the top spot with his ruling Democratic Party and three other smaller groups.

The centre-left bloc, which is lagging behind the right and the M5S in the polls, is going big on measures to combat Italy's struggling economy.

It proposes tax cuts for businesses, families and the country's poorest, as well as the introduction of a guaranteed minimum wage and investment in infrastructure, research and education.

The pro-EU bloc is also calling for the creation of a "United States of Europe", for the president of the European Commission to be elected by a Europe-wide direct vote, and for the creation of a finance minister for the euro zone.

The bloc wants migrants to be distributed among the EU states and is also pushing for integration measures.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 04, 2018, with the headline 'What political factions want'. Print Edition | Subscribe