Italy's 5-star leader promises careful economic management

Anti-establishment 5-Star Movement Luigi Di Maio gestures during a news conference at the Foreign Press Club in Rome, Italy, March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentil

MILAN (Reuters) - The leader of Italy's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement said on Wednesday he had no intention of plunging the country into chaos, promising a responsible economic policy if his party formed the next government.

Five-Star emerged as Italy's biggest party from a national election on March 4, behind a center-right coalition, but neither group got enough seats to form a working majority.

Speaking to businessmen in Milan, Luigi Di Maio reiterated the well-established 5-Star line that it was no longer time to leave the euro currency and said before talking about breaking EU deficit rules, Italy needed to crack down on wasteful spending.

He also said he wanted to head off any automatic increase in sales taxes, such as one now foreseen for the end of this year, if the national deficit breaks pre-established limits.

(Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi; Writing by Crispian Balmer)

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