Italy heads for populist government after months of stalemate

Presidente della Repubblica italiana Sergio Mattarella

Presidente della Repubblica italiana Sergio Mattarella

Mr Conte will head a government made up of ministers from the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League Party, with the coalition raising concerns in some European quarters.

Prime Minister-designate Giuseppe Conte presented his list of ministers to President Sergio Mattarella for the second time in a week and the new government will be sworn in on Friday.

Within a matter of hours, 5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio and League leader Matteo Salvini agreed on a compromise: Paolo Savona, who had expressed doubts about whether Italy should stay in the euro, was shifted from the economy ministry to the ministry for European affairs.

After the ceremony, it will face confidence votes in both chambers of parliament, where the M5S and the League have a majority.

Three months of political deadlock ended as western Europe's first populist government took charge in Italy, prompting cheers from the continent's leading Eurosceptics and a surge in the Milan stock market.

The leaders have again nominated Giuseppe Conte as Prime Minister in Rome's populist government.

In Rome's gilded Quirinale Palace, President Sergio Mattarella swore in 18 new ministers including anti-establishment figures, right-wingers and some technocrats. News agency ANSA said he went straight to the lower house of parliament, where he met with 5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio.

Mattarella had vetoed the Five Star-League's first proposed candidate for the post because of his euroskeptic views.

"We will work intensely to realize the political goals of our agreement, and we will work with determination to improve the lives of all Italians", Conte said after reading the list of confirmed ministers.

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Realizing he did not have the political support, Cottarelli stepped aside and let the two populist parties resume their plan to form a government.

29 May: The dust shows no sign of settling and Italy's political turmoil spreads to financial markets across the world.

The country's new government is scheduled to be sworn in Friday at 4 p.m. (10 a.m. ET), an event likely to trigger reverberations across Italy.

Finance minister Tria was, until now, head of the economy faculty at Rome's Tor Vergata University.

"The immigration question remains a hot-button issue, even if the number of new arrivals has fallen", said Salvini, an ally of French far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

While Tria has been critical of the European Union, he is not been seen as an advocate for an exit from the eurozone.

Mattarella's rejection of Savona as economy minister led to the breakdown of the coalition's first attempt to form a government.

"They are both led by young and ambitious leaders who share prime-ministerial ambitions".

Italy's 2.3 trillion euros of debt is 132 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), the highest ratio in Europe apart from Greece and more than double the bloc's 60-percent ceiling. "That means more work, less corruption", he said.

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