Italy weighs new chances for gov't based on vote

03 June, 2018, 18:02 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • GETTYProfessor Paolo Savona was Lega's choice for the post of Minister of the Economy

Milan's stock market closed up 1.5 percent Friday after a last-minute deal Thursday averted the threat of an early election that could have turned into a referendum on whether Italy should ditch the shared euro currency.

That brought League leader Matteo Salvini back to the negotiating table, and after frantic talks in Rome on Thursday the two parties emerged with a new 18-minister cabinet - featuring Savona in charge of European Union affairs - that was quickly accepted by Mattarella.

The new foreign minister is very close to the European Union, so surely they will not take drastic steps following the formation of the new government.

However, with tensions running high and some political leaders pushing for quick elections, events in Italy remained extremely fluid.Over the weekend, Mr. Mattarella rejected a euroskeptic figure the 5 Star and the League had chosen as economy minister for a coalition government that appeared close to taking power.

The role of economy minister was given to the less controversial Giovanni Tria, a political economist who advocates slashing taxes but is in favour of keeping Italy in the euro.

The Five Star and League initially refused to nominate another candidate and demanded early elections.

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A former International Monetary Fund official tapped to lead Italy's government until a new election could be held has stepped aside, paving way for political government of populists.

The changing of the guard Friday comes on the eve of Italy's Republic Day, when Italians mark the birth on June 2, 1946 of the Italian republic after voting to abolish the monarchy. "But I am fed up of governments with the hat in their hand", Salvini said to cheers.

The ceremony took place in Rome.

Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio is minister for economic development and both he and Salvini will be deputy prime ministers.

After the swearing-in, Salvini told reporters his first order of business would be to "reduce the arrivals and increase the expulsions" of migrants, as well as the costs associated with their care.

"It's the celebration for all of us, of our republic", he said. He heads Sunday to Sicily, the destination for most of the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have arrived in Italy in recent years after setting off on smugglers' boats from lawless Libya.

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Conte's government faces mandatory confidence votes next week in parliament, where the two governing parties have a slim majority. He's also shared anti-immigrant memes on social media.

On Tuesday, when a snap election looked very likely, a sell-off of Italian debt caused the biggest one-day rise in two-year bond yields since 1992. 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".

Juncker said Italy must not suffer the same fate as thrice-bailed out Greece whose dignity was "trodden under foot" by its creditors when left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras took office in 2015.

"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.

His comments sparked outrage in Italy, with League leader Matteo Salvini blasting them as "racist" in his victory speech in the League's base in northern Lombardy.

The Cottarelli government, which would see Italy through a period of uncertainty, seems doomed before it is created.

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