Italian leader: populist government wouldn't threaten Europe

ROME - An Italian political leader has dismissed worries that a populist government he is trying to form would pose a threat to Europe.

Luigi Di Maio, who leads the euroskeptic 5-Star Movement, told reporters Friday he made "notable" progress in his meeting earlier in the day with Matteo Salvini, who heads the right-wing League party.

The two aim to forge a government with their forces, who together account for roughly half of the lawmakers elected in the March 4 parliamentary election.

Some European officials worry that an Italian populist government might yank the country out of the euro currency. But Di Maio dismissed concerns, saying "whoever sees a threat to Europe maybe sees a threat to their own positions" of power.

Both leaders resent any European Union rules that could erode national sovereignty.

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