Salvini Says Ally Proved Loyalty Despite Tensions

(Bloomberg) -- League party leader Matteo Salvini says he’s not in crisis mode and trusts ally the Five Star Movement, despite a decision on a contentious rail project that threatens further tensions between the coalition partners, according to an interview with Il Messaggero.

The League and Luigi Di Maio’s Five Star have fought tooth and nail over a host of issues since joining forces in a coalition last June, with no battle more drawn than the future of the TAV project to link Italy and France via high-speed rail.

Salvini shrugged off a weekend pronouncement from Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte that appeared to favor Five Star, which opposes the plan.

“The TAV will go ahead, tenders will start,” Salvini said in the interview, adding that the rail plan, popular among his core supporters in the industrial north, is just the start of a wave of infrastructure projects, which will also include works in the impoverished south.

Despite reports last week that the fate of the government was in the balance over the TAV plan, Salvini claimed he’d never been concerned.

“I know, and have had confirmation of the loyalty, coherence and capability of Di Maio,” the League leader told Messaggero. Differences of opinion “can be overcome and compromises can be found.”

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