5- star Italy moves firmly to the right

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS WORLD -

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.

Giuseppe Conte.

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