Italy crisis: populists set to form government


Giuseppe Conte addresses the media at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome, Thursday, May 31, 2018.

The possibility that the 5-Star government and the League could come up with a government acceptable to Italy's president buoyed financial markets, despite their eurosceptic views.

The announcement by the president's office that Mr Conte was taking the role indicated Mr Mattarella had accepted all of the ministers proposed by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the right-wing League.

His name was submitted to Italian President Sergio Mattarella by anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and far-right League parties, which had already named him for the post in a previous bid last week.

League leader Matteo Salvini says his first order of business as Italy's new interior minister is to revamp the nation's immigration policies. But when he proposed an European Union skeptic for economy minister, the president vetoed the pick, citing concerns that the appointment could rattle markets and result in an Italian exit from the Euro.

The coalition deal, following inconclusive elections in March, removes the risk of a repeat vote, a prospect that had sparked a big selloff in Italian financial markets this week. He returned from Rome to address a crowd of supporters in his northern home region of Lombardy.

Salvini aid "I want to make Italy a protagonist in Europe again". With good manners and without creating confusion. "We are second to no one".

The ministers feature a mix of 5-Star and League loyalists and a political neophyte in the form of Premier Giuseppe Conte, who was still teaching his law classes at the university in Florence up until Thursday.

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The premier-designate tapped at the beginning of the week to head an interim government of technocrats has stepped aside.

"We are going to work hard to fulfill all of the political goals included in our government contract", Conte said in a short speech after being designated.

In his remarks to supporters, Salvini pledged to make sending migrants back to their home countries a priority.

Di Maio kept his comments to a brief Facebook post thanking supporters and declaring "the government of change is reality". The president asks ex-IMF economist Carlo Cottarelli to form a technocratic government until fresh elections can be held.

But investors, fearing the vote would be a referendum on the euro, revolted, sending Italian stocks plummeting and increasing the cost of borrowing to cover Italy's stubbornly high sovereign debt of 132 percent of GDP.

Cottarelli said it had been a "great honour to work for the country, if only for a short time" and that a political government was "a better solution".

President Mattarella rejected Mr Conte's original choice for economy minister but a different candidate was agreed on Thursday. Di Maio also backed down on threats to seek Mattarella's impeachment over the first failure. The deal to form a government - and the compromise of Giovanni Tria instead of Paolo Savona as finance minister - is unlikely to change the equation.

"[Mattarella] said no, he said there would not be a government". While both parties are populist in nature, and have railed against Brussels and Italian "elites", they have always been natural opponents in politics.Wolfango Piccoli, the co-president of Teneo Intelligence in London, said: "They are both led by young and ambitious leaders who share prime-ministerial ambitions".