Italy's League denounces suggestion of Russian Federation funding

06 June, 2018, 02:21 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • A man stands in front of an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo

The new Italian government, led by Giuseppe Conte, was sworn in at Quirinale Palace in Rome on Friday.

Mattarella's act scuttled Conte's first try to assemble a coalition uniting the forces of Di Maio's 5-Stars and his populist rival Matteo Salvini, leader of the right-wing League, which is based in the affluent north.

League leader Salvini is slated to become interior minister and has already promised to toughen Rome's immigration stance and speed-up deportations of illegal migrants.

His fellow deputy prime minister, head of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement Luigi Di Maio, has also called rescue NGOs "taxis on the sea", although his rhetoric on immigration is more measured than that of the League.

Italy swore in a populist anti-austerity government on Friday after a last-ditch coalition deal was hammered out to end months of political deadlock, narrowly avoiding snap elections in the eurozone's third largest economy.

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

The leader of the new populist party that took power in the recent elections campaigned on a staunchly anti-immigrant platform, vowing to "put Italians first" and send half a million undocumented migrants "home".

Italy has been without a government since elections on March 4 failed to produce a clear victor. The government is expected to win.

Italian bonds gained on Thursday after the news of the Five Star-League deal, with the 10-year yield falling about 18 basis points to 2.7% before rising again to 2.8%.

The 5-Star-League agenda has no such plans, but Conte made clear he was irked by comments last week by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who said Italy had to stop blaming the EU for its problems and must take responsibility to address the poverty in southern Italy.

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Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signs in in front of the country's President Sergio Mattarella during the ceremony in which he was sworn in as prime minister.

By Friday, EC spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said Juncker "deeply regrets" the comments and reaffirmed that he not only loved Italy, but that the European Union executive was committed to working with its new government.

Yet migrant arrivals to Italy actually plunged in the a year ago under the center-left Democratic Party, which signed controversial deals with Libya to beef up coastal patrols and prevent migrants from setting out in smugglers' boats across the Mediterranean Sea.

Nobody believes this new government will have an easy ride.

Mr. Di Maio also wants to force companies that leave Italy for other countries in the European Union to return their government incentives.

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Days of negotiations have ended and Italy will have a coalition government, after all.

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