Conte Will Be Italy’s Prime Minister

Eighteen ministers appointed, Di Maio and Salvini will lead key ministries

Almost ninety days after the 4 March election, lawyer and professor Giuseppe Conte gets the mandate to form a government from the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella. Conte, after Mattarella rejected his first attempt to form a government for the appointment of the eurosceptic economist Paolo Savona as Minister of the Economy, will finally swear this Friday afternoon at the Quirinale palace.

The new ‘government of change’ supported by the two majority parties, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and Northern League, will have eighteen ministers. Among those, both party leaders Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini will hold key positions, as the first is set to take the Ministry of Labor and Economic Development’s chair, while Salvini will address his pet subject, immigration, as new Interior Minister.

Who is Conte

Born in Volturara Appula, in Apulia, Conte is a 54 years old jurist, owner of a law firm and law professor at the University of Florence. He is well known in the legal sector for his several collaborations with academic journals and foreign universities. However, on this last point, his academic credentials have been brought into question, as national and foreign media reported some black spots in his curriculum vitae.

Conte is politically very close to the Five Star Movement, as Luigi Di Maio gave him the task to write the chapter on justice of his electoral program and appointed him as personal lawyer.

The new ministers

The institutional deadlock has been solved as Paolo Savona has been moved to the Ministry of European Affairs without portfolio, while Giovanni Tria, professor at the Roma Tre University and supporter of the flat tax proposed by the Northern League, will be Minister of the Economy. Compared to Savona, he has warmer positions on the Euro and he is considered to be close to Forza Italia.

Enzo Moavero Milanesi, already well-known in Brussels and former Minister of European Affairs with the Mario Monti and Enrico Letta governments, will be the new Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Giancarlo Giorgetti, Salvini’s right-hand man, will be the new Undersecretary to the Council Presidency, politically balancing the choice of the Prime Minister. Accountant and auditor, he is one of the founding members of the Northern League and was first elected in 1996.

The 5SM lawyer Alfonso Bonafede will be appointed Minister of Justice, while Elisabetta Trenta, expert foreign policy analyst with first-hand experience in Iraq, Libano and Libia, will be the new Minister of Defence. Marco Bussetti will get the Ministry of Education and the Five Star Movement chamber leader Giulia Grillo, doctor and supporter of a debate on vaccination, will be the new Minister of Health.

Another lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, will be appointed Minister of the Public Administration. Alberto Bonisoli will replace one of the Democratic Party leaders, Dario Franceschini, as Minister of Cultural Heritage.