5- star Italy moves firmly to the right
ITALY’S President has sworn in western Europe’s first populist government, featuring a mix of antiEstablishment and right-wing ministers who have promised an “Italy first” agenda that has alarmed Europe’s political class.
New Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and his cabinet were sworn in by President Sergio Mattarella at the presidential palace while the continent’s Eurosceptic politicians cheered the birth of the new Italian government coalition of the 5-Star Movement and the right-wing League party.
Milan’s stock market rose after a last-minute deal l on Thursday y averted the threat of an early election that could have turned into a referendum on n whether Italy y should ditch the he shared euro.
Mr Mattarella, who negotiated three months of political deadlock to find a workable government, presided over the swearing-in ceremony on Friday in the Quirinale Palace.
Eighteen ministers — five of them women — took the oath of office, pledging to observe Italy’s constitution and work in the interests of the nation.
The ministers feature a mix of 5Star and League loyalists.
The key economy ministry has been given to a mainstream economist close to the centre-right Forza Italia party of ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi.
Mr Mattarella had vetoed the 5Star-League’s first proposed candidate for economy minister because of his Eurosceptic views.
The new minister for public administration is defence lawyer Giulia Bongiorno, a centre- right politician legendary for defending ex-Premier Giulio Andreotti against mafia collusion charges and more recently, defending the ex- boyfriend of American student Amanda Knox against murder charges.
The ceremony capped a rollercoaster week of political and financial turmoil that saw stock markets around the world plunge and Italy’s borrowing rates soar on the threat of a new election in Europe’s third- largest economy.
The improbably fast rise of the grassroots 5- Star Movement and its alliance with the right- wing, antiimmigrant League has been dubbed the birth of Italy’s Third Republic, after Italy’s post- war political order was largely drubbed in the March 4 national vote.