Italy heads for populist government after months of stalemate

Italy plunges into political crisis after government talks collapse

Italians are marking the anniversary of the founding of their republic with a pomp-filled military parade and the first official outing of its populist government, installed after a three-month political crisis.

The anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the anti-euro League, who got the most votes in the inconclusive March election, have promised a no-confidence vote which would force new elections. "It's time to pack your bags".

Far-right party, the League, was the biggest party in a right-wing coalition which as a bloc captured about 37 percent of seats in Italy's two houses of parliament.

Conte initially dropped his bid to secure cabinet after President Mattarella's blocked Conte's initial choice for economy minister, which cast doubt on the ability of the coalition to form a government. Planes flew over Rome, trailing smoke in red, white and green, the colors of the Italian flag.

Opinion polls show Salvini's League would see huge gains in any early elections while the 5-Star would remain steady. "The truth is that they don't want us in government".

The latest development came amid a general calming of financial markets after Tuesday's rout, when investor concerns prompted the biggest one-day rise since 1992 in Italian two-year bond yields and dented the euro's exchange rate.

The prospect of a new vote, however, roiled financial markets in Italy, which is Europe's third-largest economy, and around the world.

On Saturday he did post on Facebook that he had spoken with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron and would meet the two leaders at the G7 summit, where he will be a "spokesman for the interests of Italian citizens". Merkel's office said both leaders emphasized the importance of continued close bilateral cooperation.


But in a surprise twist, the populists resurrected the coalition talks and Conte eventually accepted a new mandate for the premiership.

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Equity indexes around the world fell after the United States said it would impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union and Washington's allies took steps to retaliate against USA goods.

Di Maio also said that an impeachment trial for Mattarella, a former constitutional court judge, was "almost a certainty", but has since rowed back on this suggestion. "Banners featured images of a crossed-out European Union flag and "#exIT" written underneath, a reference to calls for Italy to leave the 28-nation bloc.

Conte had been expected to teach at Florence University on Friday morning, but with signals that the 5-Stars and League might get another shot at forming a government, he grabbed a train for Rome. "That means more work, less corruption, seriousness", he said.

"That must not happen again in the present case with Italy", Juncker said.

Italian media reported that the lineup will face a vote of confidence on Monday or Tuesday in both houses of parliament, which it is nearly certain to win thanks to Five Star and the League's combined majority in parliament.

The changing of the guard Friday comes on the eve of Italy's Republic Day, when Italians mark the birth on June 2, 1946 of the Italian republic after voting to abolish the monarchy.

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