Speech. Italian President Sergio Mattarella, after a long private meeting, conferred the mandate of prime minister to Giuseppe Conte on Wednesday night. The Italian law professor now presides over a mixed eurosceptic and far-right government. Below is his first speech as premier.

‘I will be the lawyer of the Italian people’

Good evening, everyone.

The president of the republic has given me the task of forming the government, which I have accepted with reservation. If I succeed to form it, I will present to the chambers a program based on the agreements between the 5 Star and Lega.

I discussed with the president the delicate phase we are going through and the challenges that await us and of which I am aware. Just as I am aware of the need to confirm Italy’s European and international position. The government will have to deal immediately with the ongoing negotiations on the European budget, the reform of the right to asylum and the conclusion of the banking union.

It is my task to deal with these issues, thus to create the appropriate alliances and to ensure policies that can reflect national interests.

Outside of here is a country that rightly awaits an executive and awaits answers. What is arriving will be the “Government of Change.” The contract on which this experience of government is based, to which I have also contributed, fully represents the expectations of Italian citizens for a true change.

I shall put it at the basis of the action of government, in full respect of the premises that the constitution attributes to the prime minister and in respect of other constitutional rules. My intention is to create a government that will be on the side of its citizens and will protect their interests.

I am a professor and a lawyer. During my life, I have defended the causes of so many people. I am now going to defend the interests of all Italians, in all European and international forums, in dialogue with the European institutions and with representatives of other countries. I will be the lawyer of the Italian people. I want to do so without uncertainties, with the utmost commitment and responsibility.

I will come back to the president of the republic in the next few days to lift the reservation and, if it is successful, to submit the proposals for the appointment of ministers to him.

Thank you all.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Your weekly briefing of progressive news.

You have Successfully Subscribed!