Italian president reappoints Giuseppe Conte as PM-designate to lead coalition gov't

Source: Xinhua| 2018-06-01 06:23:45|Editor: mmm
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Giuseppe Conte addresses a press conference after meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in Rome, Italy, on May 31, 2018. Italian law professor Giuseppe Conte was reappointed as Prime Minister-designate to lead a coalition government on Thursday, the presidential palace stated. (Xinhua/Alberto Lingria)

by Alessandra Cardone

ROME, May 31 (Xinhua) -- The Italian president reappointed law professor Giuseppe Conte as Prime Minister-designate on Thursday in order to lead a coalition government.

Conte accepted the role, and will be sworn in with his cabinet ministers on Friday afternoon, the presidential office stated.

The latest development came after anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and far-right League agreed to restart their consultations, so to avoid a caretaker cabinet.

Conte's first attempt to assemble an M5S-League coalition government collapsed on Sunday, after the president nixed his choice of a Eurosceptic economist as finance minister.

Conte was summoned by Italian President Sergio Mattarella late on Thursday, and unveiled a list of 18 ministers thereafter.

"We are going to work hard to fulfil all of the political goals included in our government contract," the Prime Minister-appointed said in a short speech after the meeting.

"We will work to improve life conditions of all Italians."

His cabinet line-up would directly involve M5S leader Luigi Di Maio and League leader Matteo Salvini both in the role of vice prime ministers.

Di Maio will also serve as Economic Development and Labour Minister, and Salvini as Interior Minister.

The crucial Economy and Finance Ministry will be given to Giovanni Tria, professor of Political Economy at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and president of Italy's National School of Public Administration.

Economist Paolo Savona -- whose nomination by M5S and League in their previous government attempt triggered the confrontation with the president, and the failure of their bid -- will now serve as Minister of European Affairs, according to Conte.

Enzo Moavero Milanesi, director of the School of Law at LUISS University in Rome, will be made Foreign Affairs Minister. The scholar already served as advisor to Italy's Prime Minister for EU affairs and privatization of state-owned companies between 1993 and 1995, and as Minister of European Affairs between 2011-2013 and 2013-2014, according to his online resume.

In other key government departments, lawyer and League senator Giulia Bongiorno will serve as Minister of Public Administration, and Italian army's former defence advisor Elisabetta Trenta as Defence Minister.

About one hour before Conte was summoned on Thursday, former International Monetary Fund official Carlo Cottarelli had returned to the head of state his mandate to form a caretaker cabinet.

The top economist had been given the task some 24 hours after consultations between M5S and League consultations had failed on Sunday.

In a statement, the president "thanked Cottarelli for his seriousness, sense of the institutions, and constant attention paid to the national interests that have marked his commitment."

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.

Five Star Movement and League run as rivals in general election held on March 4, which proved inconclusive. They decided to join their forces after emerging as the two most voted parties.

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KEY WORDS: Giuseppe Conte