Berlusconi announces new government

Ministers chosen by Italy's PM-elect likely to take strong measures against immigrants.

    Umberto Bossi, right, leader of the Northern League party, with Roberto Calderoli [AFP]

    Gunboat policy
     
    Umberto Bossi, head of the Northern League party, will be minister in charge of institutional reforms.
     
    Bossi, who once recommended using gunboats to scare off illegal immigrants, brought down Berlusconi's first government, but had the same reform portfolio in his second government until he had a stroke in 2004.
     

    His party advocates giving Italy's regions more fiscal autonomy.

    Roberto Maroni, the 53-year-old deputy leader of the Northern League, is to become interior minister.

    Maroni held the position in Berlusconi's first government and was labour minister in his second.

    The architect of controversial pension changes, he has a milder tone than Bossi but has also voiced a tough line on immigrants and poor Romanians blamed for crime.

    Controversial appointment

    The most controversial appointment is that of Roberto Calderoli, also from the Northern League, as minister for simplification.

    Calderoli is known for outbursts against immigrants and Muslims.

    He was forced to resign as institutional reforms minister in 2006 after wearing a T-shirt with cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, a stunt blamed for protests in Libya in which 11 people died.

    His ministry without portfolio is meant to reduce the number of laws and cut red tape.

    Berlusconi will be sworn in on Thursday as head of Italy's 62nd administration since the second world war.

    He has appointed 12 ministers with portfolio and nine without portfolio, including four women.

    Berlusconi claimed victory in elections last month and will replace Romano Prodi, the centre-left leader.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Meet the hardline group willing to do anything, including going against their government, to claim land for Israel.