Italy government fraying over high-speed rail dispute

Italy's coalition government is fraying over the stalled Italy-France high-speed rail line, with the League insisting it go ahead and the 5-Star Movement refusing to fund the next phase until the whole deal is renegotiated

ROME -- Italy's coalition government is fraying over the stalled high-speed rail line to France.

While the League insists it go ahead, the 5-Star Movement is refusing to fund the next phase until the whole deal is renegotiated.

Five-Star leader Luigi Di Maio warned Friday it would be ridiculous for the government to fall over the dispute, as he rebuked fellow deputy premier and League leader Matteo Salvini.

The two ruling parties have been at odds over the project, which envisages a 35.7-mile (57.5-kilometer) tunnel link between Turin and Lille. It's part of an EU project to connect southern Spain with eastern Europe.

The League backs the project as an infrastructure improvement sought by its northern entrepreneurial base; the 5-Stars are ideologically opposed and say the money could be better spent elsewhere.