A populist coalition government was sworn into power in Italy on Friday, ending months of political uncertainty in the euro zone's third-largest economy.
President Sergio Mattarella swore in Giuseppe Conte as prime minister of Western Europe's
first anti-establishment government whose aim is to cut taxes, boost welfare spending and overhaul European Union rules on budgets and immigration.
"Your appointment comes at a crucial time for Italy and the entire European Union," European Council President Donald Tusk said in a letter to Conte. "To overcome our common challenges, we need unity and solidarity more than ever."
Mattarella had approved a patched up bid from Italy's anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and right-wing Lega (League) party on Thursday evening, just days after a bitter feud roiled global financial markets.
"All the conditions have been fulfilled for a political, Five Star and Lega government," Luigi Di Maio of M5S and Matteo Salvini of Lega, both the leaders of their respective parties, said in a joint statement following several hours of talks in central Rome.
Only days ago, Mattarella refused to accept an initial bid from Italy's populist parties over concerns about an economy minister who had helped write a guide for withdrawing Italy from the euro zone. That move plunged the country back into crisis mode, amid fears a fresh election could be framed as a de facto referendum on Italy's role in Europe.