Potential Italian finance minster rules out austerity and leaving the euro

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Andrea Roventini (R) and Luigi di Maio

REUTERSAndrea Roventini (R) and 5Star Movement leader Luigi di Maio

Andrea Roventini, who is standing for the anti-establishment 5Star Movement, has been named as a potential finance minister by party leader Luigi di Maio.

The economics professor from the Sant'Anna University of Pisa said a policy of encouraging public investment would be much more successful in dragging Italy out of the financial doldrums where it has languished since for the last decade after a series of setbacks.

He said: “Austerity doesn’t work. It's disastrous and self-destructive. Just look at Greece and Finland".

Silvio Berlusconi and Matteo SalviniGETTY

Centre-right coalition partners Silvio Berlusconi and Matteo Salvini

Austerity doesn’t work. It's disastrous and self-destructive. Just look at Greece and Finland

Andrea Roventini

Mr Roventini also criticised a flat tax rate praised by Forza Italia leader Silvio Berlusconi.

He said: ”It's a fake tax, a bizarre idea that would only create public debt and benefits to one percent of the population".

Mr Roventini also ruled out a departure from the euro which the 5Star Movement had previously considered as adopting as a policy.

He said: "The exit from the euro is not in question.”

Andrea RoventiniREUTERS

Andrea Roventini has ruled out austerity and leaving the euro

Italians got to the polls on Sunday with opinion polls pointing to a hung parliament, which is why the main parties have formed coalition alliances ahead of the vote.

Mr Berlusconi’s centre-right party Forza Italia is currently in a pre-election coalition with the Northern League and the post-fascist Brothers of Italy (FDI).

This coalition has the best chance of forming a government with the Index poll suggesting the group could take 295 seats while another former Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, is clinging on to slim odds of beating his rivals.