Populists take helm of Italy's government

Cottarelli said the election would be held in August if he failed to secure confidence votes now

The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the right-wing League party are swearing in their Cabinet later Friday, capping a roller-coaster week of political and financial turmoil by agreeing to drop a proposed economy minister who had concerned Italy's president.

The Italian president reappointed law professor Giuseppe Conte as Prime Minister-designate on Thursday in order to lead a coalition government.

Italian president Sergio Matterella, an European Union loyalist appointed by fellow politicians rather than elected by the people, used his usually ceremonial position to block the populist parties' first attempt to form a government, claiming that Savona - their pick for economy minister - was unsuitable due to past criticism of the euro currency.

The law professor who has never before held political office was sworn in on Friday afternoon, ending nearly three months of political uncertainty and bringing to power a new populist government.

Italy is advancing swiftly towards a populist government on its second try after 5-Star Movement and League leaders announced a compromise deal.

M5S leader Luigi Di Maio and League leader Matteo Salvini were sworn in as Economic Development and Labour Minister and Interior Minister respectively.

In the March election, no party or coalition had received enough votes to form a government on its own.

Newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte rings the bell during his first cabinet meeting at Chigi palace in Rome, June 1, 2018.

Italy, one of the European Union's biggest economies, has been plunged into crisis after President Sergio Mattarella at the weekend vetoed the new government's nomination of a fierce eurosceptic as economy minister.

The new government must be confirmed by Parliament, where M5S and the League together command an absolute majority. In a Facebook post featuring a photo of the Five Star ministers, he said: "There are a lot of us, and we're ready to launch a government of change to improve the quality of life for all Italians". But Cottarelli received no support from any of the major parties.

I suppose they will be very prudent, there was a very strong tug of war between Mattarella and the proposed economic minister Savona, where they talked about a plan B to leave the Euro.

'The new government will make sure that the rights and the dignity of 60 million Italians will be respected, ' Salvini said in a statement, adding that 'Italians expect from Europe cooperation and not insults'.

The agreement between Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio averts the prospect of a new snap election which has rattled global markets in recent weeks.

The Italian President has previously described his role as that of a "political referee".

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

"We'll get to work to create work, for those who don't have it, for those that do but without dignity", Di Maio said.

Italy's 2.3 trillion euros of debt is 132 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), the highest ratio in Europe apart from Greece and more than double the bloc's 60-percent ceiling.

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