Italy populist leaders back France 'yellow vest' protests
The two leaders of Italy's ruling populist coalition on Monday spectacularly threw their support behind the "yellow vest" protesters roiling neighbouring France.
"Yellow vests, do not weaken!" Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, who heads the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), wrote on his party's blog, echoed by his counterpart from the far-right League, Matteo Salvini.
"I support honest citizens protesting against a president who governs against his people," Salvini said in a statement, while "firmly" condemning recent protest violence.
Di Maio's M5S has vaunted direct democracy since it began in 2009 and he on Monday offered French protesters the use of their so-called Rousseau system to improve organisation and "draw up an electoral programme".