Italy’s Conte given mandate to form government

Giuseppe Conte (pictured right with President Mattarella — Photo Credit: Twitter/Quirinale), the candidate of Italy’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League party, has been given the mandate by President Sergio Mattarella to form a government.

The decision comes after three months of political uncertainty following elections that dealt a heavy blow to Italy’s main parties.

The M5S and the League agreed on Monday to present Conte, a 54-year-old law professor and political novice, as their pick for prime minister.

The new government must still be approved in parliament, where the parties have a combined majority. A vote is expected next week.

The prospective government’s populist policies include reducing taxes, easing austerity drive and boosting welfare spending.

The Eurosceptic coalition’s spending plan has upset EU since Italy is one of the most indebted countries.

Conte must now pick his team which has been the subject of days of tough negotiations between Five Star Movement and League.

The cabinet list must be endorsed by Mattarella before it goes to Parliament for approval.

League chief Matteo Salvini is likely to become interior minister while Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio will be in charge of the economic development ministry, according to Italian media.