September 4, 2019 / 3:44 PM / 3 months ago

Factbox: The main ministers in Italy's new government

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Wednesday presented his cabinet list to President Sergio Mattarella, who will swear in the government on Thursday at 10.00 a.m. in Rome (0800 GMT).

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte arrives at the Senate after meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella in Rome, Italy September 4, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

The formation of a new coalition of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) ends a month-long political crisis triggered when hard-right leader Matteo Salvini brought down the previous administration.

That government, made up of 5-Star and Salvini’s League party, was also led by Conte.

After being sworn in, the government will face confidence votes in both houses of parliament. The focus is on the Senate, where on paper the new coalition has only a slim majority.

Here are brief profiles of the main ministers.

ECONOMY MINISTER

Roberto Gualtieri, an influential PD member of the European Parliament, will return from Brussels to take over from Giovanni Tria, an economist who was not a member of any party.

The new government is expected to have less fraught relations with the EU than its predecessor and Gualtieri’s first task will be to draw up a 2020 budget which cuts taxes as promised by both ruling parties but is acceptable to Brussels.

A former history professor at Rome University, Gualtieri has served since 2014 as head of the European Parliament’s economic affairs commission and was a key player in negotiations to soften EU rules on state aid to banks saddled with bad loans.

Gualtieri, 53, earned plaudits in Brussels, where he was also appointed to the European parliament’s Brexit steering group. Christine Lagarde, soon to take up the job of ECB chief, said on Wednesday that Gualtieri’s appointment as economy minister would be “good for Italy and good for Europe”.

INTERIOR MINISTER

Luciana Lamorgese, a career civil servant with no political affiliation, has the tough task of succeeding the hard-right League leader Matteo Salvini, who galvanised support by closing Italy’s ports to migrant rescue ships.

The 65-year-old Lamorgese has spent all her career in the interior ministry, which she represented as prefect of Milan from 2017-2018 where she was responsible for public order in Italy’s financial capital.

Previously, she was chief of staff to successive interior ministers from the centre-right and centre-left from 2013 to 2017. She will be expected to soften Salvini’s tough but popular law-and-order policies but will need to tread a fine line to avoid any public backlash.

FOREIGN MINISTER

Luigi Di Maio, the 33-year-old head of the 5-Star Movement, takes the foreign ministry after being industry and labour minister as well as deputy prime minister in the previous government. He led 5-Star to its 2018 election victory, but the party’s support has since declined as Di Maio struggled in repeated policy clashes with Salvini.

He has little international experience but as industry minister he signed important trade deals with China and promoted Italy’s involvement in Beijing’s contested Belt and Road infrastructure plan, drawing the ire of Washington.

Di Maio also drew criticism for seeking allies for 5-Star at EU elections among France’s sometimes violent “yellow-vest” protest movement, prompting French President Emmanuel Macron to briefly withdraw France’s ambassador from Rome.

INDUSTRY MINISTER

Stefano Patuanelli, 5-Star’s Senate leader, was elected to parliament for the first time at last year’s election and quickly emerged as one of the party’s most prominent lawmakers.

He previously worked as a construction engineer and is one of the few senior 5-Star politicians to come from Italy’s industrial north.

Patuanelli, 45, played a front-line role in negotiations with the Democratic Party over the formation of the new government. Among his first tasks as industry minister will be to complete ongoing efforts to save ailing national airline Alitalia.

Other ministers:

Cabinet Undersecretary, Riccardo Fraccaro (5-Star)

Justice, Alfonso Bonafede (5-Star)

Parliamentary Relations, Francesco D’Inca (5-Star)

Public Administration, Fabiana Dadone (5-Star)

Regional Affairs, Francesco Boccia (PD)

South, Giuseppe Provenzano (PD)

Family and Equal Opportunities, Elena Bonetti (PD)

Defence, Lorenzo Guerini (PD)

Agriculture, Teresa Bellanova (PD)

Infrastructure and Transport, Paola De Micheli (PD)

Education, Lorenzo Fioramonti (5-Star)

Culture and Tourism, Dario Franceschini (PD)

Health, Roberto Speranza (Leftist LEU party)

Environment, Sergio Costa (5-Star)

Sport and Youth, Vincenzo Spadafora (5-Star)

Labour, Nunzia Catalfo (5-Star)

Innovation, Paola Pisano (5-Stelle)

European Affairs, Enzo Amendola (PD)

Additional reporting by Giselda Vagnoni; Editing by Peter Graff

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