Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Populist government sworn in, ending Italy's political deadlock

Populist government sworn in, ending Italy's political deadlock

The formation of the coalition government led by Conte paves the way for the end of the political turmoil in Italy, caused by the March 4 inconclusive parliamentary election.

Mr Mattarella had rejected Mr Conte's original choice for finance minister.

The government will be formally handed over later on Friday and a confidence vote will take place later on this week.

Mr Savona, an 81-year-old economist, had said previously that Italy should have a contingency plan to abandon the euro.

After weeks of political drama that had at one stage seemed certain to lead to new elections, President Sergio Mattarella named academic Giuseppe Conte as prime minister for the second time in less than a fortnight and approved the political novice's revised cabinet.

Salvini, head of the right-wing League and a deputy prime minister in the eurosceptic coalition, has made curbing immigration a clarion call of his party, which is fast rising in popularity in opinion polls.

"Now we have five years in government", she said.

Lega leader Matteo Salvini will become the deputy prime minister and minister of the interior, while M5S chief Luigi DiMaio will jointly be deputy prime minister and take over the economic development portfolio.

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Migration experts have stated that the appointment of such a radical leader will reduce rights of migrants and asylum seekers, in a country that already has difficulties in integration. In Italy, opposition politicians see the new government contract as "dangerous" and "illusionist".

Salvini has a long history of making controversial statements, particularly about immigrants in his native Milan, and has called the euro a "crime against humanity".

The new government delighted leaders of an increasingly bolder far-right in European politics.

"Without promising any miracles, I can say that, after the first months of this government of change, I would like us to have a country with a little less tax and a little more security, a few more jobs and a few less illegal immigrants", a gleeful Salvini said at a rally. Nigel Farage, a British force behind the successful Brexit movement, advised Italy's populists to "stay strong or the bully boys will be after you".

The foreign policy agenda of Italy's new populist government caused a stir on two fronts Monday, with Tunisia protesting a comment by the interior minister about migrants and the pro-Russia stance of the ruling coalition receiving scrutiny.

She pointed out that European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker recently called for the EU to find avenues where it can work with Russian Federation, saying "this Russia-bashing has to be brought to an end".

"I think it's better to spend money in the countries of origin, and now if there are NGOs that want to work for free, that's fine", Salvini said.

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