Italian Prime Minister feels no need for cabinet reshuffle after local elections

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Pedestrians wearing face masks walk on a street in Rome, Italy, March 10, 2020. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced late Monday that the whole of Italy will be placed under lockdown from Tuesday until April 3. (Xinhua/Cheng Tingting)
Pedestrians wearing face masks walk on a street in Rome, Italy, March 10, 2020. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced late Monday that the whole of Italy will be placed under lockdown from Tuesday until April 3. (Xinhua/Cheng Tingting)

Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday said that he did not “feel the need for a cabinet reshuffle” in the wake of the local election results.

“I am happy with the cabinet team and with all the ministers,” he said.

Conte congratulated the winners of the regional elections held Sunday and Monday in seven out of Italy’s 20 regions, and said everyone must pull together for the good of the country.

“Italy must move with full steam ahead,” Conte told reporters. “The direction is clear: we must work together to improve our country.”

Conte went on to say that “the government is facing a historic challenge,” in reference to a 750-billion-euro (878-billion-U.S. dollar) recovery package which the European Council approved in July. A significant portion of the fund will go to Italy.

“The government has an incredible opportunity, which no other government has ever had before, which is to spend the conspicuous European resources,” Conte said.

He also said the government has been working with the Tunisian government towards “a much more effective and efficient plan for repatriations.”

“Given our great relations of friendship and cooperation (with Tunisia), we have reinforced the repatriation plan,” Conte told reporters.

Many migrant vessels leaving from Tunisia have landed on Italy’s southern shores in recent months.

He also said “female empowerment will be at the center of the next Group of 20 (G20) summit, which Italy will be organizing next year and while I will have the honor of presiding.”

The regional elections were held along with a referendum on parliament reform. A resounding majority of Italians have voted in favor of cutting the number of members of parliament from 945 to 600.

The elections were originally to be held in the spring but had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which as of Tuesday has infected over 300,000 people in Italy since its outbreak in late February in the country.

Currently, Italy and other countries across the globe — including China, Russia, Britain, and the U.S. — are racing to find a coronavirus vaccine.

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