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Italy's Five Star Movement: We might take the country out of NATO

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Rome (dpa) - Italy‘s poll-leading opposition party, the Five Star Movement (M5S), said on Tuesday it could take the country out of NATO if the Western military alliance fails to adopt radical reforms and sticks to non-interventionist policies.

The announcement came as M5S presented a 10-point foreign policy programme which also called for an end to sanctions against Russia, the rejection of European Union austerity policies and international trade agreements like TTIP and CETA. 

"If [NATO] can really change, obviously with our participation, we can definitely be members of it; if it does not change, we will have to consider whether to be part of it or not," M5S deputy Manlio Di Stefano said in a press conference. 

Di Stefano, a 35-year-old computer engineering graduate and former volunteer aid worker in Latin America, has been tipped by the Italian media as the top contender for the foreign minister post if the M5S is asked to form a government. 

The anti-establishment party, founded by ex-comedian Beppe Grillo, is currently polling at 28.6 per cent, against 26.8 per cent for the ruling centre-left Democratic Party, according to average survey readings by the Termometro Politico website.

But M5S‘ chances of leading the country even if it wins the next general elections, due by early 2018, are unclear, because other mainstream parties could shut it out of power via a bipartisan coalition. 

Piero Ignazi, a political scientist from the University of Bologna, told dpa that a M5S-led government was a "not very realistic" prospect. He doubted the party could form a government with other eurosceptic forces like the hard-right Northern League. 


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