'Time for a new humanism': Conte hints at change in refugee policy

'Time for a new humanism': Conte hints at change in refugee policy
Copyright Presidential Palace/Paolo Giandotti/Handout via REUTERS
Copyright Presidential Palace/Paolo Giandotti/Handout via REUTERS
By Alastair JamiesonAssociated Press
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Five Star Movement leader Luigi Di Maio has confirmed plans for a new coalition with the Democratic Party. But, before it can happen, Italy's president must agree to it.


Italian President Sergio Mattarella gave Giuseppe Conte the mandate to form a new government after Italy's Five Star Movement has confirmed plans for a coalition with the Democratic Party (PD).

The new coalition chose outgoing Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte to be their premier.

Mattarella met with Conte on Thursday morning to officially designate him as the chosen prime minister.

"This is the moment for bravery, to try to design a better country. This is the time for a new humanism," Conte after meeting with the president.

After the meeting, Conte will set out to draft a programme for the next coalition government and choose the ministers.

If he succeeds, the president is likely to ratify the coalition.

This is different from the role Conte played in the last government, for which the League and Five Star drafted the programme without consulting with the premier first.

Speaking to reporters earlier, Five Star's Luigi Di Maio also said ex-coalition partners, the League, had offered him the premiership so they could put the coalition back together, but he refused.

"We are not running away from responsibilities, like others (referring to the League)," said Di Maio.

"We have always been a post-ideological movement. For us, there are no left or right solutions, but just solutions."

Speaking to reporters, Salvini accused PD of always losing elections but ending up in power anyways, against the will of Italians. He called the new government being put in place "a new Monti" referring to the austerity government formed in substitution to Berlusconi's one, imposed by the EU.

He said that eventually, Italians will rise up and "punish" the PD and Five Star.

The current situation was triggered when the Five Star and the far-right League coalition collapsed after League leader Matteo Salvini withdrew hoping fresh elections will bring him the premiership.

But his move backfired when Conte refused to resign immediately, giving time for the Five Star and the PD to try and agree to a partnership.

Mattarella met with the speakers of the two houses on Tuesday evening before holding meetings with the smallest parties in Italy’s parliament.

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