Giuseppe Conte sworn in as Italian prime minister

Giuseppe Conte sworn in as Italian prime minister

Giuseppe Conte sworn in as Italian prime minister

Political neophyte Giuseppe Conte, who skipped teaching a class at the University of Florence to return to Rome, was summoned to meet Mattarella at the presidential palace Thursday night.

Milan's stock market closed up 1.5 percent Friday after a last-minute deal Thursday averted the threat of an early election that could have turned into a referendum on whether Italy should ditch the shared euro currency. Mattarella had vetoed the 5-Star-League's first proposed candidate for the post because of his euroskeptic views.

Conte, an academic and political novice, will head a government of ministers from the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right League Party.

5-Star's Salvini and League's Di Maio's initial attempt to form western Europe's first populist government foundered early in the week when Mattarella refused their choice of an anti-euro economy minister.

With the new deal on Thursday, Giovanni Tria, a little-known economics professor, will get the key economy ministry job, replacing Savona.

The foreign minister will be pro-European Enzo Moavero Milanesi, a former minister for European affairs. Eighteen ministers - five of them women - took the oath of office, pledging to observe Italy's constitution and work exclusively in the interests of the nation.

The new government is expected to face votes of confidence in the two houses of parliament on Monday and Tuesday.

The president asks ex-IMF economist Carlo Cottarelli to form a technocratic government until fresh elections can be held.


The appointment comes shortly after Giuseppe Conte, who had been put forward by the leaders of would-be populist coalition partners Five Star Movement and League, abandoned his mandate.

Over the weekend, the Five Star Movement and the Northern League described Mattarella's opposition to Savona as unjustified and partisan, and alluded to his being part of a conspiracy to stop their government.

There were even calls for Mattarella's impeachment earlier in the week from the M5S, but the party's leader has now said that option is off the table. He expressed concern that Savona would consider pulling Italy out of the Eurozone, generating financial instability and market issues that, according to the president, would lead to financial risks for Italians.

The government programme includes plans to speed up expulsions of illegal immigrants and crack down on trafficking. He will seek to may good on promises of economic redistribution.

But on Thursday EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker warned against blaming the EU for all of Italy's problems.

If Italy decides, on a wave of disgruntlement, to go back to the lira, this would send an economic natural disaster across Europe and beyond. He said Italians needed to work harder, be less corrupt and stop looking to the European Union to rescue the country's poor regions."Italians have to take care of the poor regions of Italy". He said "I'd like to give a nice cut to those 5 billion euros, that seem a bit much to me" (for migrant reception).

"The idea of allocating more money for the protection of the external border, so allocating more money for the management of migratory flows, more management for common security are all things for which we have been advocating more commitment by the European Union".

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