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Italy’s PM Conte unveils new gov’t program to lower house, winning first confidence 

ROME (Xinhua) -- Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s new gov-ernment won the first confidence vote in the lower house of parliament on Monday, with 343 votes in favor and 263 against.
His cabinet was sworn in on Sept. 5, forged on a coalition between anti establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and center left Democratic Party (PD), after the previous one also led by Contecollapsed for right wing League leader Matteo Salvini’s decision to pulled the plug.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks ahead of the first confidence vote in the lower house of parliament in Rome, Italy, on Sept 9, 2019.

Addressing lawmakers for 1 hour and 20 minutes to outline the new program in the morning, Conte promised the cabinet’s action would open “a new, and hopefully decisive season of reforms.”
He stressed this government would move in accordance with the European Union (EU) to regain a pro European stance that has been long traditional for Italy, one of the founding members of the integration process.
Such passage marked a major difference with the previous cabinet made by League and M5S, which often expressed Eurosceptic positions, reducing the level of cooperation with traditional partners such as France and Germany.
However, the prime minister added Italy’s position in the further strengthening of the European project would not be uncritical or subsided.
Conte spoke of Italy as willing to be “protagonist of a new phase of the EU, with more attention paid to environment, and to social and territorial cohesion” and stressed the need “to improve the Union’s governance.”
“The Government will be committed to implement a plan of (EU) sustainable investments, to reform the Economic and Monetary Union and the banking union, starting from the creation of a Eurozone Budget, of a European insurance scheme against unemployment and a European deposit guarantee,” he explained.
At the same time, Conte pledged his new government would stick to EU discipline rules in terms of public accounts and budget.
“We will fulfill this vision taking into account our commitments in terms of public finance and the sustainability of our public debt, which we will direct towards a path of reduction,” he stated. Another sensitive issue on which Conte’s new cabinet was under scrutiny was immigration, since his previous government passed very tough reforms promoted by former Interior Minister Salvini.
On this, Conte stated some aspects of two controversial security decrees will be amended, “following the suggestions of President Sergio Mattarella” and he promised “a rigorous and responsible policy, based on a structural approach and not an emergency one.”

(Latest UpdateSeptember 11, 2019)

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