Italy: populist government sworn in as political deadlock ends


Italy’s new populist government has been sworn into power after the president, Sergio Mattarella, agreed to a revised slate of ministers – just days after a bitter row over the incoming leaders’ stance on the euro ended their initial bid to assume power.

Giuseppe Conte was sworn in as prime minister on Friday after a last-ditch coalition deal ended months of political deadlock and narrowly avoided snap elections in the eurozone’s third largest economy. Conte, an academic and political novice, will head a government of ministers from the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right League party. The first populist coalition in a founding EU member has raised concerns in some European quarters. The 53-year-old was sworn in alongside his cabinet, which will see the M5S leader, Luigi Di Maio, and League chief, Matteo Salvini, in key ministerial posts. The deal will bring at least temporary calm to a political crisis that has embroiled Italy for weeks. The tumult raised questions – in Brussels and among investors around the world – about whether the rise in Italian populism and the collapse of traditional parties posed a fundamental threat to the country’s future in the eurozone.(theguardian)…[+]