Italy to Get a New PD M5S Government

Roberta Cutillo (September 04, 2019)
Earlier today, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte met with President of Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, to present him with the list of ministers who will be part of his new government. Following their tete-a-tete, Prime Minister Conte read to the press the list of the members of his new cabinet. The new government, a coalition between the Movimento 5 Stelle party, the Democratic party, and supported by Liberi e Uguali (LeU), a small left-wing party, will be composed of 21 ministers - 7 of which are women. They will be officially sworn in tomorrow morning at 10am Italian time.

Two weeks ago, the Italian government collapsed, following former deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini’s announcement that he was backing out, which in turn caused Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to give his resignation on August 20. 

Salvini, whom polls show to be rising in popularity across the country, was likely hoping that the government collapse would lead to fresh parliamentary elections. And this was indeed a possibility. 

However, to the surprise of many, the Democratic Party and Movimento 5 Stelle - the party who was co-ruling the country alongside Salvini’s Lega - agreed to form a coalition, in which they were also joined by Liberi e Uguali (LeU), a relatively small left-wing party. Together, these three parties hold the majority in parliament, which means that Italy should avoid having to go through a brand new election for now.

Today, Conte presented the new government’s program and the list of ministers to President Sergio Mattarella, who approved it. The list features 21 ministers: 9 from the Democratic Party, 10 from Movimento 5 Stelle, and one non-partisan expert, Luciana Lamorgese, who will head the very sensitive Home Affairs Ministry after having served as a senior official there. She is one of 7 women on the list. 

Former Deputy Prime-Minister Luigi Di Maio will serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs, while the Democrat Roberto Gualtieri who now chairs the European Parliament’s Economic Affairs Commission, will be the new Economy Minister

Stefano Patuanelli, who was the Chair of the M5S Parliamentary Group at the Senate, will head the Ministry of Economic Development, Nunzia Catalfo (M5S), who contributed to the drafting of the controversial “Reddito di Cittadinanza,” will be in charge of the Labor Ministry.

Alfonso Bonafede will remain at the head of the Justice Ministry and Sergio Costa will stay at the Environment Ministry. Dario Franceschini (PD) who previously served as Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism from 2014 to 2018 will resume his role. 

The new Minister of Defense will be the Democratic Party’s Lorenzo Guerini, Paola De Micheli (PD) will be the Minister of Infrastructure, Teresa Bellanova (PD) the Minister of Agricultural Policies, Lorenzo Fioramonti (M5S) the Minister of Education.

The one representative of LeU, Roberto Speranza will head the Ministry of Health and M5S’s Federico D'Inca (M5S) will be in charge of relations with the Parliament. 

The other ministers will be: Paola Pisano at Innovation, Fabiana Dadone at Public Administration, Francesco Boccia at Regional Affairs, Vincenzo Spadafora at Sport and Youth Affairs, Elena Bonetti at Equal Opportunities, Enzo Amendola at European Affairs, and Giuseppe Provenzano at the Ministry for the South.

The new Government will be officially sworn in tomorrow at 10am Italian time, after which the Ministers will assume their newly appointed roles.

The Cabinet will then also need to pass a confidence vote in both the Lower House and the Senate, which should take place early next week This normally shouldn’t be an issue since the PD, M5S, and LeU can count on the majority of MPs, but during such uncertain times, anything could happen.