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Political deadlock ends in Italy as new cabinet gets sworn-in

Newly appointed Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, a little-known law professor, will lead a cabinet that includes the two coalition party heads, the League’s Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio of the 5-Star Movement.

Both Salvini, head of the far-right, anti-immigrant League, and Di Maio, who leads 5-Star, a grassroots movement that has never been in government before, will become deputy prime ministers.

Salvini will also be interior minister, with authority over immigration, and Di Maio gets the Labour and Industry portfolio while the coalition’s programme has not changed since it was presented at the first attempt to form a government last week.

Eurosceptic Paolo Savona, who had been first pick for finance minister, will instead be European affairs minister, a less powerful role but one which will mean him negotiating with Brussels and speaking on EU issues.

The coalition’s manifesto says it will push the European Union to review the bloc’s rules that limit public spending, which Salvini says have “enslaved” Italians.

The parties’ new economy minister, another little-known figure, economics professor Giovanni Tria, has been critical of the EU’s economic governance, but unlike Savona he has not advocated a “plan B” for possibly exiting the euro.

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