An excellent cabinet for Italy

La Lega to get economy and interior.

Giuseppe Conte, 53, approved as the next prime minister of Italy by its president. He leads a rag-tag coalition of far-right and anti-establishment parties. They want to deport immigrants and hand out £14.9b in universal basic income. Mr Conte’s government was also seen as highly eurosceptic, particularly in choosing Paolo Savona as economy minister. Minister for industry between 1993-94, he was staunchly opposed to signing the Maastricht Treaty and said he considered the euro currency a ‘German cage’.

His planned appointment, and the coalition’s victory, was mat with dismay by European leaders. Conte’s appointment could herald an end to more than two months of political uncertainty in the eurozone’s third-biggest economy.

But he must now finalise his cabinet, the subject of days of tough negotiations between the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League.

The list of ministerial candidates must then be endorsed by head-of-state President Mattarella before it can seek parliamentary approval. Italian media reported League chief Matteo Salvini would become interior minister and Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio have the economic development ministry.

That’s big, because it means the Euro and immigration will be controlled by La Lega, not Cinque Stelle. It looks like Cinque Stelle wants to blow out the EU budgetary limits and hand out money to low-income Italians while La Lega gets rid of the invaders, both Eurocrats and Africans. It’s not a done deal yet, because Mattarella has to sign off on Savona and Salvini and he will be under tremendous pressure from the EU not to do so, but Salvini has made it clear that if he doesn’t, La Lega will simply force another election that will only strengthen the alliance’s hand.

This is a potentially better outcome than I had expected before the elections.