May 31, 2018 / 8:29 PM / 2 years ago

PENPIX-The main ministers in Italy's proposed new government

ROME, May 31 (Reuters) - Italy’s Prime Minister-designate Giuseppe Conte on Thursday presented his cabinet list to President Sergio Mattarella, who will swear in the government on Friday at 4 p.m. in Rome (1400 GMT).

The agreement ends three months of political deadlock that began with an inconclusive election on March 4.

After being sworn in, the government will face confidence votes in both houses of parliament, where the coalition allies — the far-right League and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement — have clear majorities.

Here are brief profiles of the main ministers, with the rest of the cabinet names given at the bottom.


Giovanni Tria, 69, is a little-known economics professor at Rome’s Tor Vergata University. He was picked for the job after the coalition leaders’ previous choice, eurosceptic economist Paolo Savona, was vetoed by the head of state.

Tria, who is not affiliated to any party, has been critical of the EU’s economic governance, but unlike Savona he has not advocated a “plan B” to prepare for Italy’s possible exit from the euro currency bloc.

In recent articles, he has called for a change in the EU’s fiscal rules to allow public investment to help growth and, like many mainstream economists, he has criticised Germany’s persistently large current account surplus.

In an article this month about the programme being drawn up by 5-Star and the League, he said widespread criticism of their plans as financially irresponsible was premature, and forecast that EU budget rules were likely to change.

He gave cautious approval to both 5-Star’s flagship policy of universal income support for the poor, and the League’s hallmark pledge of steep tax cuts. In other articles, he has criticised previous Italian governments for failing to rein in both public spending and the level of taxation.

According to his CV, Tria got a law degree at Rome’s Sapienza University, and then later spent time working as a consultant at the Italian Treasury, the foreign ministry and the World Bank.

He was a visiting scholar in economics at London’s Birkbeck College, New York’s Colombia University and Beijing University.


Matteo Salvini is the 45-year-old leader of the far-right League party, the second-biggest party in parliament and in the governing coalition.

Salvini has claimed the ministry that spearheads migration management to show the League’s priority remains clamping down on irregular immigration.

Bearded, stocky and casually dressed, Salvini is often seen on primetime TV talk shows and is a social media hound. While very much a straight talker, he rarely loses his cool.

Salvini transformed the League from a northern regional bloc that demanded tax money not be funnelled to the country’s underdeveloped south into a far-right nationalist party whose Donald Trump-like “Italians First” slogan resonated with voters after years of anaemic growth and mass migration.

In the March election, Salvini’s fiery words on immigration helped catapult his party past four-time Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia to become the country’s most popular conservative party.


Luigi Di Maio, 31, is the leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement. As head of the largest party in parliament, Di Maio hoped to become prime minister but was vetoed by the League who feared that with him in the top job, 5-Star would have dominated the coalition.

Spearheading a new “super-ministry” combining the labour and industry portfolios, Di Maio will have the job of implementing 5-Star’s flagship policy of a guaranteed income for the poor of up to 780 euros per month.

He will also have to deal with thorny industrial issues such as the future of Italy’s bankrupt national airline, Alitalia, and the survival of Europe’s largest steel plant, ILVA, which is in the process of being sold.

Di Maio has no government experience, but proved an able campaigner and has kept up the party’s popularity during the long and tortuous negotiations to form a government.


Enzo Moavero Milanesi, 63, worked for 20 years at the European Commission before becoming European Affairs minister in the governments of Mario Monti (2011-2013) and Enrico Letta (2013-2014).

This will make him one of the few ministers with deep institutional experience, especially in Brussels.

From 1995 to 2000, when Monti served as European Commissioner for the internal market and then for competition, Moavero Milanesi was his chief adviser.

In 2002, he became Deputy Secretary-General of the European Commission.

He has taught at Bocconi University in Milan and La Sapienza University in Rome, where he graduated in law. Since 2015, he has been running the law school at Rome’s LUISS University.


Paolo Savona, an 81-year-old economist, was rejected as economy minister by the president on Sunday because of his criticism of the euro single currency, throwing into disarray the coalition’s first attempts to form a government.

Instead of the economy post, Savona will become Italy’s representative in Brussels, a lower-profile position, but an important one for a government that wants to change European Union rules.

In his latest book, Savona described Italy’s entry into the single currency as a “historic error” and called for a “plan B” to be drawn up to allow it to leave the bloc with as little damage as possible if it should prove necessary.

Savona has distinguished academic and professional credentials, with high-level experience as a minister, at the Bank of Italy, at private banks and with employers’ lobby Confindustria. He was industry minister as long ago as 1993.

An economics professor who studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Savona has written numerous books on international banking, monetary systems and macroeconomics.


Giancarlo Giorgetti, 51, is a long-time League lawmaker who has always played a behind-the-scenes role.

As undersecretary, he will have a hands-on role in running the everyday business of government, including preparing legislation and maintaining contacts with the various institutions and ministries.

Giorgetti is considered one of League leader Salvini’s top advisers. After the March vote, he was named the head of the party’s lawmakers in the lower house, a position he will have to cede now that he is entering the government.

Giorgetti went to Milan’s Bocconi University, earning an accounting degree. First elected in 1996, Giorgetti has specialised in budget issues while in parliament.

The other ministers are:

Justice, Alfonso Bonafede

Parliamentary Affairs & Direct Democracy, Riccardo Fraccaro

Public Administration, Giulia Bongiorno

Regional Affairs, Erika Stefani

South, Barbara Lezzi

Family and the Disabled, Lorenzo Fontana

Defence, Elisabetta Trenta

Agriculture, Gian Marco Centinaio

Infrastructure and Transport, Danilo Toninelli

Education, Marco Bussetti

Culture, Alberto Bonisoli

Health, Giulia Grillo

Environment, Sergio Costa (Reporting by Steve Scherer, Giselda Vagnoni and Gavin Jones; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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