Conte presents his cabinet to Italian president

Italian premier-designate Giuseppe Conte on Wednesday afternoon handed President Sergio Mattarella the list of his 21 ministers, news wires reported. The new cabinet was created after a coalition deal between the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) and the centre-left Democratic Party (PD).

The key post of economy minister will go to the PD’s Roberto Gualtieri, now head of the European Parliament’s economic affairs commission. 5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio, who served as deputy prime minister, industry minister and labour minister in the previous administration, will become foreign minister in the new government.

The M5S-PD alliance led by Conte was approved on Tuesday night by almost 80% of grassroots M5S members on their online voting platform Rousseau. M5S leader Luigi Di Maio called the vote a "plebiscite" for change based on the 20 points the M5S has managed to insert into Conte's 26-point programme. "From blocking the VAT hike to the minimum wage, from the cut in the tax wedge to aid to families and the disabled, from the stop to incinerators to the (stop to) (offshore) drilling, from justice reform to the law on conflict of interest, and (taking" motorway concessions (away from the Autostrade company), we have included our key points" he said.

A draft of the programme on the M5S blog also said that on migrants and security, where the PD wants a clean break with the closed ports policy of outgoing interior minister Salvini, "the security laws will have to be updated according to the recent observations of President Mattarella". During the last cabinet Mattarella has warned that some norms were against international treaties on saving lives at sea.

The prime minister has to win confidence votes in both houses of parliament before the government can officially start work.

Conte also headed the last M5S-League government on which anti-migrant Euroskeptic League leader Matteo Salvini pulled the plug on 8 August.


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