After Months Of Talks, Italy Has A New Coalition Government

Giuseppe Conte is a lawyer by trade

Giuseppe Conte is a lawyer by trade

Giuseppe Conte was sworn in as prime minister of Italy's new populist government Friday after a last-ditch coalition deal ended months of political deadlock and narrowly avoided snap elections in the euro zone's third largest economy.

A source close to President Sergio Mattarella, who vetoed Savona as finance minister and appointed Cottarelli to form a government to oversee fresh elections around the end of the year, said the two men had "decided together not to rush things, (to favour) a possible political government".

Populist parties Five Star and the Northern League are attempting to form a coalition once again.

Economic analyst Lorenzo Codogno said the re-emergence of a possible political government would likely mean tweaks to the 5-Star-League coalition agreement and dropping the Eurosceptic Paolo Savona from the post of economy minister.

The Cabinet also includes defense attorney Giulia Bongiorno as the new minister for public administration.

Veronica Auriemma, 49, an office manager, said she isn't expecting much from the newly formed government.

After more than two months of failed negotiations, Mr Mattarella then turned to former International Monetary Fund official Mr Cottarelli to form a neutral government made up of technocrats to lead Italy until early elections.

ANSA also reported that the little-known law professor tapped by the Five Stars and the League as a premier-designate had skipped his class in Florence on Thursday to travel to Rome.

The leaders of Italy's right-wing League and the 5-Star Movement last night patched up their alliance after agreeing to substitute a eurosceptic they had initially proposed as economy minister and who had been rejected by the head of state.

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In light of the populists' successful talks, Cottarelli announced Thursday that he was giving up his mandate to form a technocrat government.

The coalition plans to reject austerity and increasing spending, and also wants to renegotiate European Union treaties and review the bloc's economic governance.

Their ambitious economic proposals - which include a universal basic income for Italy's poorest, rolling back pension reform and a two tier flat tax - have anxious Brussels and financial markets given the country's sizeable debt.

Ratings agency Moody's warned that it would cut Italy's rating - now just two notches above junk - if there is no budget to cut debt, now at 132 per cent of GDP, the second highest rate in the eurozone after Greece.

The coalition - which faces a parliamentary confidence motion early next week that it is set to win - plans to boost public spending and wants to renegotiate European Union treaties and review the bloc's economic governance.

Salvini has branded as "racist" advice from European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for Italians to work harder and be less corrupt instead of blaming their woes on the EU.

"I'm in deep love with Italy, Bella Italia". "I admit that I am choked up and happy", League leader Salvini said in a tweet which showed him for once formally dressed with his top shirt button done up for the occasion.

"Starting today, we get to work to create work", Di Maio said in a Facebook video giving Italians a tour of the empty ministry. But don't play this game of loading with responsibility the EU.

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