New populist interior minister: Italy cannot be 'Europe's refugee camp'

Matteo Salvini leader of the League speaks to the press on 14 May

Recently, Soros relocated the foundation out of his native Hungary, where right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban has accused it of being part of a strategy to flood Europe with migrants - something Soros and his organization deny.

Mattarella had triggered a fresh crisis at the weekend when he vetoed eurosceptic Paolo Savona as economy minister in a previously proposed Five Star-League government.

While many officials in Brussels sought to ease tensions with Rome this week, and came to the defense of Mattarella after the president took a political risk by defending Italy's role in the European Union, a top official on Thursday issued a tough critique of Italy.

Tunisia has largely stemmed Italy-bound human smuggling operations, but the number of Tunisian migrants who have reached Italy so far this year, 2,889, are more than the number from any other country.

Italian Prime Minister-designate Giuseppe Conte and President Sergio Mattarella agreed on a coalition government for the country Thursday.

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Western Europe's first anti-establishment government, which faces its first confidence vote in the upper house Senate on Tuesday, seems determined to hit the ground running.

"I admit that I am choked up and happy", League leader Matteo Salvini said in a tweet which showed him for once formally dressed with his top shirt button done up for the occasion.

The coalition deal promises to end three months of political turmoil with a government that aims to ramp up spending, challenge European Union fiscal rules and crack down on immigration.

His fellow deputy prime minister, head of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement Luigi Di Maio, has also called rescue NGOs "taxis on the sea", although his rhetoric on immigration is more measured than that of the League.

"Now we have five years in government", she said.

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The ministers feature a mix of 5-Star and League loyalists and a political neophyte in the form of Premier Giuseppe Conte, who was still teaching his law classes at the university in Florence up until Thursday. Di Maio will be the new joint industry and labor ministry, aiming to introduce a basic income for job seekers and poor families; Salvini is the interior minister, with a goal of cracking down on undocumented migrants.

"Gotta stay strong or the bully boys will be after you", he warned.

Salvini has branded as "racist" advice from European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for Italians to work harder and be less corrupt instead of blaming their woes on the EU.

The alliance between the M5S and the League will have only a relatively narrow majority in the Italian senate, easing concerns among investors and officials in Brussels over the new government's decision-making.

"I think it's better to spend money in the countries of origin, and now if there are NGOs that want to work for free, that's fine", Salvini said.

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