September 5, 2019 / 10:35 AM / 11 days ago

Italy picks former PM Gentiloni as EU commissioner: government source

Paolo Gentiloni looks on as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos meet young people and monks at the Salone Papale in Assisi, Italy, May 12, 2018. REUTERS/Yara Nardi/File Photo

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s new government has put forward former centre-left Democratic Party (PD) premier Paolo Gentiloni to be the next Italian EU Commissioner, a government source said on Thursday.

Gentiloni served as prime minister from 2016 to 2018, and his appointment is widely seen as a move to guarantee smooth ties with Brussels after months of high tensions. A PD source said Gentiloni was expected to get a top economic portfolio.

The new Italian coalition, formed by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the Democratic Party, was sworn into office on Thursday. Italy was the only member of the 28-nation bloc that had yet to put forward a candidate for the commission.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; Writing by Angelo Amante; Editing by Crispian Balmer

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