Italy’s populist parties strike deal to form government

Sides reach agreement after nearly three months of talks following March election
ROME: Italy’s populist parties on Thursday agreed to form a coalition government, nearly three months after an inconclusive March 4 general election.
According to Italy’s ANSA news agency, the far-right Lega Nord (Northern League) and anti-establishment Five-Star Movement — the two biggest winners of the elections — announced that they had also reached an agreement on a list of ministers.
Following the coalition deal, as Italy’s new premier, law professor Giuseppe Conte received a mandate from President Sergio Mattarella to form a government and said 18 new ministers would be sworn in Friday for a “government of change”, ANSA said.
“We will work intensely to achieve the political objectives anticipated in the [government] contract. We will work with determination to improve the quality of the lives of all Italians,” Conte said as cited in Italian media.
Lega Nord leader Matteo Salvini was named interior minister while the head of the Five Star Movement, Luigi Di Maio, will become labor and economic development minister.
Paolo Savona, the Eurosceptic economist who was originally picked by Conte as economy minister, will serve as European affairs minister.
Giuseppe Tria, a political economy professor, will be economy minister while Enzo Moavero Milanesi, a former EU official, was named as foreign minister.
In the March election, no party or coalition had received enough votes to form a government on its own. The coalition deal has ended the risk of new voting in the country.–AA

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