Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

5Stars and League strike new Italian coalition deal

5Stars and League strike new Italian coalition deal

"All the conditions have been fulfilled for a political, Five Star and League government", said Matteo Salvini (the League leader) and Luigi Di Maio (leader of M5S), in a joint statement.

Giuseppe Conte had been approved for Italy's top office by the country's President Sergio Mattarella on Thursday evening after the right-wing League and anti-establishment Five Star Movement reached a coalition agreement.

Yet migrant arrivals to Italy actually plunged in the past year under the center-left Democratic Party, which signed controversial deals with Libya to beef up coastal patrols and prevent migrants from setting out in smugglers' boats across the Mediterranean Sea.

Mr Salvini has vowed to keep up the pressure by lobbying Italy's partners to obtain more European Union assistance to handle the problem.

It was a reference to European Union officials, who have made clear in recent days their concerns - in occasionally undiplomatic terms - about Italy's euroskeptic direction.

Salvini, who is also joint deputy prime minister and interior minister in the populist coalition government sworn in on Friday, has ridden a wave of public discontent in recent years, playing on anti-immigrant sentiment as hundreds of thousands of migrants landed in Italy.

The port town of Pozzallo is also on the migration front line as one of the main landing points for refugees fleeing war, persecution and starvation across North Africa and the Middle East.

Salvini said it was "shameful" that Soros was invited to speak at the conference.

The other main route, from Turkey to Greece, was largely shut after more than one million people arrived in 2015.

At least 46 people died after their boat sank off the Tunisian coast, the country's Defence Ministry said.

An opinion poll by Ipsos that was published on Saturday in the daily Corriere della Sera showed support for the League had risen to 28.5 per cent from 17 per cent at the March 4 election.

Salvini will be the new Minister of Interior, while Di Maio will be the Minister of Labour and Economic Development.

Soros' comments, delivered Sunday at an economic forum in northern Italy, focused attention on the pro-Moscow agenda of Italy's new euroskeptic League and 5-Star Movement government.

However Salvini said he would not be attending, as he will be in Italy's parliament for a confidence vote on the new coalition with Five Star.

A crowd of enthusiastic supporters and a smaller group of protesters had earlier gathered in front of the gates of the town's migrant centre, where Salvini would give his speech, trading insults and almost coming to blows. The gap between the yield on Italy's benchmark bonds and their safer German equivalent narrowed to its tightest in a week, while Italy's blue-chip share index recovered form early losses and rose 0.4 per cent.

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