Published: Sun, June 03, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Italy's Cottarelli opens door to possible eurosceptic government

Italy's Cottarelli opens door to possible eurosceptic government

The two big winners in that election - Five Star and the League - attempted to join forces but abandoned efforts after the president vetoed their choice of finance minister.

Italian media reported that the lineup will face a vote of confidence on Monday or Tuesday in both houses of parliament, which it is nearly certain to win thanks to Five Star and the League's combined majority in parliament.

A former International Monetary Fund official tapped to lead Italy's government until a new election could be held has stepped aside, paving way for political government of populists.

The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the anti-euro League have been emboldened by the president's dismissal of their government in favour of an unelected group of technocrats.

Despite pledges to work together, Luigi Di Maio's pro-EU Five Star Movement (MS5) and Matteo Salvini's far-right Lega have so far failed to formed a successful alliance.

"We're not Martians, and we'll prove it", said the premier, who in a play on his law professor profession promises to be the "defense lawyer" of the Italian people in an "Italians first" government.

President Sergio Mattarella may choose to skip the appointment of a stop-gap government and call elections in July.

The leader of Italy's anti-migrant, euroskeptic League party is expressing cautious optimism that he and the leader of the 5-Star Movement are back on their way to forming western Europe's first populist government.

Conte's new government would put an end to a stalemate that lasted more than 12 weeks, during which the protracted political instability of the euro-zone's third largest economy rattled financial markets.

"Italians have to take care of the poor regions of Italy", he said.

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Israel and Hamas are bitter enemies and have fought three wars since the group seized control of Gaza in 2007. The Palestinian Health Ministry says a woman was killed by Israeli fire during a protest at the Gaza Strip.

"The good times for illegals is over - get ready to pack your bags", Salvini said at a rally in Italy's north on Saturday, adding however that he wants to economically assist migrants' countries of origin.

Giuseppe Conte addresses the media at the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome, Thursday, May 31, 2018.

Lorenzo Codogno, a former Treasury official and economic analyst, said he predicts "trench warfare" between the government and Mattarella "on matters related to Europe and the fiscal stance".

Conte has so far left policy specifics to the drivers of his improbable rise, his two deputies: Salvini and 5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella asked Conte to form a new government on Thursday evening.

Following reassuring words about the Euro from the two populist party leaders, a compromise was reached: Savonna was named instead to head the ministry of European affairs and Giovanni Tria, in favor of the Euro, was named economic minister.

There were even calls for Mattarella's impeachment earlier in the week from the M5S, but the party's leader has now said that option is off the table.

But Salvini, who is surging in opinion polls, appeared to throw cold water on the notion that his party and 5-Star could try again to take power, saying Italy should return to an election as soon as possible.

"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.

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