May 23, 2018 / 5:55 PM / 7 months ago

Italy's prime minister designate promises to defend country's interests

Newly appointed Italy Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks to the media after the consultation with the Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, Italy, May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

ROME (Reuters) - Prime minister-designate Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday his government would defend the interests of ordinary Italians, but acknowledged that it would also have to fulfill its European and international obligations.

Conte, a little-known law professor, will head a coalition made up of the far-right League and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which has pledged to challenge European Union rules on monetary union, fiscal rigor and immigration.

“I’m preparing myself now to defend the interests of all Italians in all places, in Europe and internationally,” he told reporters after President Sergio Mattarella gave him a mandate. “I will be the defense lawyer for the Italian people.”

Reporting by Crispian Balmer; editing by Steve Scherer

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