Italy's populist parties win approval to form government

Italy's populist parties win approval to form government

The government will face a vote of confidence in both houses of parliament next week.

Mr Mattarella gave the leaders an unspecified amount of time to form a coalition government after markets plunged on news of a proposed interim administration that would take Italy swiftly to new elections.

Giuseppe Conte had been proposed for the role of Prime Minister, leading a coalition of the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) and regionalist party League.

Lega Nord leader Matteo Salvini was named interior minister while the head of the Five Star Movement, Luigi Di Maio, became labor and economic development minister.

The president's choice as prime minister, unelected former International Monetary Fund official Carlo Cottarelli, continued to hold talks about forming a caretaker government despite both populist parties saying they would refuse to back him.

The president's office announced Thursday that Conte had accepted the role and would be sworn in Friday afternoon with Cabinet ministers.

President Sergio Mattarella approved Conte's appointment last week - but the next day rejected the politician's choice of finance minister, forcing Conte, 53, to abandon his attempt to form a government.

While both parties are populist in nature, and have railed against Brussels and Italian "elites", they have always been natural opponents in politics.

Italian prime minister-designate Giuseppe Conte got a taste of the expectations many Italians have for his revived team as he reported for work, when he was confronted by a group of laid-off workers protesting outside parliament.

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The possibility that the 5-Star government and the League could come up with a government acceptable to Italy's president buoyed financial markets, despite their eurosceptic views.

Thousands of people gathered in the streets of Rome on Saturday evening to celebrate the installation of Italy's newly-installed populist government.

The National Front leader, who shares the League's anti-immigrant stance, added: "It's a victory of democracy over intimidation and threats from the European Union".

European stocks closed higher after Italian parties reached an agreement that led to the formation and swearing in of a new government, thereby averting the prospect of an early general election.

28 May: In a day of rapidly moving events, Mr Conte takes his cabinet choices to Mr Mattarella but the president vetoes the choice of Paolo Savona as finance minister. Salvini has campaigned on the promise of mass deportations of migrants, and has said that a new government would build new detention centres around the world.

Earlier this week, Sergio Mattarella invited former economist Carlo Cottarelli to form a government.

However, investors' focus switched to Spain where the prime minister is set to be toppled.

The Milan stock exchange jumped almost 2.5 per cent as banks hit hard by the turmoil showed signs of recovery. "That means more work, less corruption", he said.

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