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Italy celebrates Republic Day

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Italy celebrates Republic Day

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As Italian President Sergio Mattarella led the commemorations marking Republic Day, many believe they have more to celebrate than normal; having just ended three months of political instability.

Among the international figures attending the event, Mattarella met with Antonio Tajani, the President of the European Parliament,

The patriotic display marks the anniversary of the referendum in 1946 when Italy voted to abolish the monarchy in favour of a republic.

It was also the first major outing for the new populist leaders from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and right-wing League party.

Premier Giuseppe Conte was among those celebrating. The former law professor, plucked from relative obscurity, has the tricky role of helping unite the unlikely governing alliance.

League leader Matteo Salvini has pledged to tackle illegal immigration and the combined government of populists and eurosceptics has worried other EU countries.

But for most, the date represents an opportunity, celebration and, of course, a public holiday.