158 migrants land ahead of visit by anti-immigrant Salvini

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Italy's president swore in western Europe's first populist government Friday, featuring a mix of anti-establishment and right-wing ministers who have promised an "Italy first" agenda that has alarmed Europe's political establishment.

Conte is set to be sworn in later today after meeting Italian President Sergio Mattarella and agreeing to lead a new government and break the country's deadlock, reports the Independent.

Conte selected economics professor Giovanni Tria for the role of finance minister after he resigned on Monday when Mattarella refused to approve Conte's original nomination of Paolo Savona.

Conte, 53, who has been criticised as being a "Mr Nobody", named hardline anti-migrant Salvini as interior minister, while Di Maio is minister for economic development.

After months of political turmoil, Italy has its first new populist government.

Carlo Cottarelli, who had been asked by Mattarella to form a technocratic government after the previous Conte coalition failed to get approval, officially returned his mandate on Thursday afternoon, paving the way for the populists to take control.

Days after taking office, the two pillars of Italy's first populist government led rallies Sunday in Sicily to maintain their popular support while detailing their strategies for deporting migrants and implementing other campaign promises that helped put them in power.

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However, higher oil prices and tighter financial conditions will weigh on the pace of acceleration. The International Monetary Fund expects economic growth could reach 7.4 percent in 2018/19.

The spread, or difference in yield, between Italian and German 10-year government bonds, fell to 217 basis points after crossing the symbolic threshold of 300 basis points on Tuesday.

President of the European Council Donald Tusk has congratulated the new prime minister in a tweet. While Tria has been critical of the European Union, he is not been seen as an advocate for an exit from the eurozone.

Italy has avoided a damaging second national election after Giuseppe Conte was named prime minster of a coalition of the country's two anti-establishment parties.

But the alliance between the M5S and the League will only have a relatively narrow majority in the Italian Senate, easing some concerns among investors and officials in Brussels that the new government could take drastic actions. Salvini said holding centres for those awaiting deportation would be built so "they won't leave from morning till night".

At 13 500 so far this year, refugee arrivals in Italy are down.

A controversial agreement between Italy's former centre-left government and authorities and militias in Libya has triggered a decline in overall arrivals of some 75 percent since the summer of 2017.

European powerhouse Germany vowed Friday an "open" stance towards the new government, while European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker told Italians they needed to "do more work, less corruption" and stop blaming the EU for their woes.

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