​Gov't of Italian PM Conte sworn in

Xinhua Financein ROME
2018-06-02 08:53

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Italy's new government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was officially sworn in here on Friday, putting an end to a deadlock lasting since early March inconclusive vote.

The new cabinet was formed on a coalition between anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and far-right League, the two most voted parties in the elections.

Conte, a 53-year-old law professor and political novice, was reappointed by President Sergio Mattarella on Thursday night, after his previous cabinet attempt with the same parties failed on Sunday.

His cabinet comprised 18 members, including M5S leader Luigi Di Maio as Minister of Economic Development and Labour, and League chief Matteo Salvini as Interior Minister.

Both would also serve as vice prime ministers.

The crucial Economy Ministry was entrusted to Giovanni Tria, a professor of Political Economy at Rome Tor Vergata University who is favorable to Italy's continued adherence to the euro-zone.

His nomination was a key turning point allowing the success of M5S-League's latest negotiations, since the president had nixed their previous nominee -- Eurosceptic economist Paolo Savona -- as finance minister.

In the new cabinet, Savona will serve as Minister for European Affairs.
Enzo Moavero Milanesi, director of the School of Law at LUISS University in Rome, was sworn in as Foreign Affairs Minister.

Other key ministers included Alfonso Bonafede at Justice, Elisabetta Trenta at Defence, Marco Bussetti at Education, Danilo Toninelli at Infrastructures and Transports, Giulia Bongiorno at Public Administration, and Alberto Bonisoli at Cultural Activities and Tourism.

During the election campaign -- and even more after their first bid failed due to the presidential veto on the finance nominee -- both League and M5S have been strongly critical towards the European Union (EU)and financial lobbies.

Conte would now be in charge of the first populist government the country has seen, also of amending the ties with some of the EU allies, after weeks of sharp exchanges.

After accepting his new mandate on Thursday evening, Conte said his cabinet would "work hard to fulfil all of the political goals included in our government contract" in order to improve life conditions of all Italians.

In an address given on Friday, President Mattarella expressed his "best wishes to the new government for its work."

Mattarella was harshly attacked by M5S and League, when he did not accept their first cabinet line-up entirely. Both parties accused him of trying to impede a government wanted by citizens, and Di Maio even threatened to try to impeach him in parliament. The tensions later subdued.

"A constant search for cooperation marks Italy's relationship with all the other countries in the world," Mattarella said at the concert in honor of the Diplomatic Corp usually held on the Republic Day's eve.

"Only together we can face the increasingly global challenges of the international context," he added.

After taking the oath of office, the newly appointed prime minister received the "silver bell" from the hands of former Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni at Chigi Palace, a ritual signalling a new Italian cabinet is taking office.

Conte must now seek confidence votes from both chamber of deputies and senate, which was expected to be an easy process since M5S and League holds the majority in both houses.

The votes might take place between Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Ansa news agency citing lower house speaker Roberto Fico.
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