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Sunday 17 November 2019

Italy’s premier-designate fails to form government

Giuseppe Conte ‘has given back the mandate’ that President Sergio Mattarella gave him four days earlier.

Italy Politics
Italy Politics

By Associated Press Reporter

Italy’s premier-designate has told the president he has been unable to form what would have been western Europe’s first populist government.

A presidential palace official said that Giuseppe Conte “has given back the mandate” to try to form a government that President Sergio Mattarella gave him four days earlier.

Italy Politics

Mr Conte said he tried his hardest to form the country’s next government and had full cooperation from would-be coalition partners, the populist 5-Star Movement and League parties.

The University of Florence law professor said he “gave the maximum effort, attention, to carry out this task with the full collaboration” of the 5-Star Movement and League.

Mr Conte, who has no political experience, received the mandate last week from the pro-European Mr Mattarella.

Assembling a Cabinet acceptable to both Mr Mattarella and the populist partners foundered on League leader Matteo Salvini’s insistence on a Eurosceptic economy minister.

League leader Matteo Salvini tweeted on Sunday that he would keep fighting “to the end” for the anti-euro candidate he wants to be the minister.

Paolo Savona has likened Italy to being in a “cage” of austerity restrictions favoured by fellow eurozone member Germany.

Mr Salvini and 5-Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio, a fellow Eurosceptic, joined forces in the hope of giving Italy its first populist government.

After inconclusive March 4 elections, they proposed Mr Conte as their choice to lead the next government.

PA Media

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