Italians Queue for Free Cash Promised by Five Star

Italians Queue for Free Cash Promised by Five StarItalians Queue for Free Cash Promised by Five Star

Dozens of Italians have been queuing at tax offices to claim money promised by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement in the weekend election—even though the party is not yet in power.

A key election pledge of the Five Star Movement (M5S) was to provide a universal basic income for the unemployed ranging from €700 ($860) to €3,000, AFP reported.

The party scooped up 33% of the national vote in Sunday's ballot, becoming the country's biggest single party, but it did not win as many votes as a rightwing coalition, so both camps are in the process of finding allies to form a parliamentary majority.

However, the political stalemate has not stopped voters in southern Italy from already demanding that the M5S make good on its election pledge.

"The Five Star Movement has won. Give us the forms to get the universal income," people told employees at a local tax office in the Giovinazzo, near the city of Bari, Italian media reported.

The plan has drawn stinging criticism from the other political parties, with opponents slamming it as a reward for laziness.

According to media estimates, the measure would cost the Italian state some €15 billion per year—a heavy burden on the heavily indebted European Union member.


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