Different flavors, but Italian pizza: coalition government takes office this Friday

Posted June 02, 2018

Italy's president swore in western Europe's first populist government Friday, featuring a mix of anti-establishment and right-wing ministers who have promised an "Italy first" agenda that has alarmed Europe's political establishment.

Italian stocks were trading higher as signs emerged of a compromise to avoid snap elections that could be dominated by the issue of euro membership, calming investors.

He is also a fierce critic of Brussels and has called for closer ties to Russia.Di Maio will take on a powerful new post that will combine labour and industry portfolios in a move that could mark big changes to labour and environmental policies, given the M5S's stated opposition to big industry.Giovanni Tria, a little known economics professor, was named to lead the finance ministry.

Global financial markets have been recovering over the past two days after tumbling earlier this week over the prospect of a new Italian election dominated by debate over Italy's future in the euro zone.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a conference Thursday that he loved Italy, but refused to accept the frequent pass-the-blame mantra by Italian politicians that Italy's ills are the fault of the EU. That likely means an end to Italy's monthslong political crisis and a new government deeply skeptical of the European Union.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella talks to the media at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, Italy, May 31, 2018.

"In Italy, do the Italian voters decide or do the Germans and French decide?"

Both party leaders expressed fury at Europe's political and economic elite after their choice of a staunchly Eurosceptic finance minister was vetoed by Mr Mattarella in favour of Carlo Cottarelli (64), a former International Monetary Fund economist.

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"There's no reference (in his CV) to masters or other university titles, but the simple and accurate description of his work as a scholar and university professor", the movement said in a post on its official blog. Seriousness", he said. "We will help them, as we always did.

"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".

"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.

He was speaking after Mr Mattarella requested that Mr Cottarelli try to form a technocratic caretaker government in preparation for elections next year. The scholar already served as advisor to Italy's Prime Minister for EU affairs and privatization of state-owned companies between 1993 and 1995, and as Minister of European Affairs between 2011-2013 and 2013-2014, according to his online resume.

The two parties together won a narrow majority in March 4 elections.

It also came on the eve of the nation's Republic Day holiday, the day in 1946 when Italy abolished the monarchy and gave birth to the First Republic.

"All the conditions have been met for a M5S-League government", said the party leaders in a joint statement sent by the Five Star Movement.

Lorne Cook and Raf Casert contributed from Brussels, and Angela Charlton from Paris.

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