Italy heads for populist government after months of…

Italy's former prime ministerial candidate Giuseppe Conte gave up his mandate on Sunday

Giuseppe Conte is set to be Italy's new prime minister.

The two leaders have named law professor Giuseppe Conte as their choice to remain Prime Minister and lead the coalition government.

Nearly three months after Italy's election, a right-wing populist coalition between the Five Star Movement and the Northern League had finally come up with a plan.

Though investors were relieved to avoid repeat elections, which they feared could have become a de facto referendum on the euro, they are now likely to refocus on the big spending plans of the League and 5-Star, which would add to its debts.

It was a reference to European Union officials, who have made clear in recent days their concerns - in occasionally undiplomatic terms - about Italy's euroskeptic direction.

Citing sources close to the talks, Reuters reported that Di Maio would lead the Industry Ministry and Salvini could head the Interior Ministry.

Stock markets in Italy and globally had plunged and Italy's borrowing rates soared earlier in the week when it appeared Italy was heading to new elections after President Sergio Mattarella vetoed the prospective partners' first pick for economy minister, collapsing the proposed coalition.

But while Conte will nominally hold the most powerful office in Italy, the driving forces in his administration will be the leaders of the two political parties that gained most votes in an inconclusive election in March - the right-wing League party and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement.

"I'm in deep love with Italy, bella Italia", European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a conference on Thursday.

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Juncker said at a conference Thursday that "Italians have to take care of the poor regions of Italy".

"There's no reference (in his CV) to masters or other university titles, but the simple and accurate description of his work as a scholar and university professor", the movement said in a post on its official blog.

He said "the mafia has always made us and will always make us sick, wherever there is injustice I will try to be there with a team".

The deal followed an extraordinary few days in which Mr Di Maio called for the head of state to be impeached, two successive prime ministers-designate were tasked to form a government, one of whom quit only to be reinstated on Thursday evening.

"The idea of allocating more money for the protection of the external border, so allocating more money for the management of migratory flows, more management for common security are all things for which we have been advocating more commitment by the European Union". Salvini late Wednesday said he isn't closing the doors on any solution but also indicated some resistance to the change, saying "if someone in Berlin or Paris wakes up in a bad mood that doesn't mean that an Italian minister gets kicked out".

Emerging from a similar meeting with a different ending Thursday night, Conte read off his Cabinet list and pledged that "we will work with determination to improve the quality of life of all Italians".

Carlo Cottarelli, a pro-austerity economist, promised to put together a government "very quickly" and said new elections would be held either in August or next year. The euro has been Italy's currency since 2002, when it replaced the Italian lira.

Both Mr Di Maio and Mr Salvini vowed not to support Mr Cottarelli and called for elections straight away.

Lorne Cook and Raf Casert contributed from Brussels, and Angela Charlton from Paris.

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