March 28, 2018 / 6:29 PM / in 10 months

Italy parties tell outgoing govt not to name state company chiefs

ROME (Reuters) - The two parties vying to form a government in Italy following this month’s election told the outgoing administration on Wednesday it should not name new chiefs of state-owned companies without consulting them.

Matteo Salvini, the head of the far-right League, said the head of state should prevent caretaker Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni from nominating new company heads whose terms are due to expire in coming weeks and months.

“I hope (President Sergio) Mattarella does not allow the outgoing government, which has been rejected by the Italians to renew these public appointments ... it would be profoundly wrong,” Salvini said in a radio interview.

Earlier on Wednesday the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement delivered a similar message, saying the government should consult the new parliament before naming new boards of state-owned companies such as oil services group Saipem.

“If nominating the boards of companies of national importance cannot wait for a government to be formed, like in the case of Saipem, it will be necessary ... to involve the outgoing government and the new parliament,” Andrea Roventini, 5-Star’s candidate for economy minister, wrote on the party’s blog.

5-Star was the largest single party at the March 4 election, while the League was the leading party in a center-right coalition which won most seats in parliament.

Both parties claim the right to name the prime minister and try to form a government amid ongoing negotiations to put together a ruling coalition. The ruling Democratic Party fared badly in the ballot and has said it will go into opposition.

Reporting by Gavin Jones; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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