Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

'Get ready to pack your bags' - Italy's new interior minister to refugees

Carlo Cottarelli was waited to talk with reporters after a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella is seen at the Quirinal palace in Rome Italy government: Giuseppe Conte again asked to be PM
Glenn Montgomery | 06 June, 2018, 02:18

Italy had been without a government since it held elections in March, the longest stretch without a government in the country's postwar history.

Mr Conte was destined to become prime minister last week before Whitlam-like dismissal crisis threatened to derail his prime ministership before it had begun.

Italian press reports indicated that the populist leaders had stepped back from their insistence that Paolo Savona, an 81-year-old eurosceptic, serve as finance minister.

The disaffection has grown in recent years as hundreds of thousands of migrants have landed on Italy's shores from north Africa, fuelling support for the League which accuses the European Union of abandoning Italy to deal with the influx on its own.

Law professor Giuseppe Conte, Italy's new prime minister designate, speaks to the media to present his ministers list after being appointed by Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Thursday in Rome, Italy.

5-Star and the League have a solid majority in both houses of parliament, where the Government will now face confidence votes early next week in order to be fully empowered. Seriousness", he said. "We will help them, as we always did.

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.

A controversial agreement between Italy's former centre left government and authorities and militias in Libya has triggered a fall in overall arrivals of some 75 percent since the summer of 2017.

The government's critics say its plan to repatriate migrants is unworkable and risks fomenting racism and politicising a humanitarian issue.

French leader Marine Le Pen hailed the new government as "a victory of democracy over intimidation and threats from the European Union". He has already promised to reduce the number of arrivals and increase the number of expulsions.

The latest comments from Mr Salvini came after more than 50 migrants drowned in the Mediterranean on Sunday, with 48 bodies found off the southern coast of Tunisia.

"Gotta stay strong or the bully boys will be after you", he warned.

European powerhouse Germany vowed an "open" stance towards the new government, but European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker told Italians they needed to "do more work, less corruption" and stop blaming the EU for their woes.

Italian financial markets jumped on the announcement of the new government formed by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and nationalist League, whose ministers began taking the oath at the presidential palace at 4 pm.

She pointed out that European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker recently called for the EU to find avenues where it can work with Russian Federation, saying "this Russia-bashing has to be brought to an end".

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