Paolo Gentiloni sworn in as Italy’s new prime minister

Pier Carlo Padoan remains as economy minister to tackle looming banking crisis.

Former foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni was sworn in as Italy’s new prime minister on Monday evening, bringing to a close the government crisis triggered by last week’s resignation of Matteo Renzi in record time.

Gentiloni’s new executive – which is almost a photocopy of Renzi’s cabinet – was also sworn in.

The government will present itself to the chamber of deputies and senate for a vote of confidence respectively on Tuesday and Wednesday, in time for Gentiloni to attend a European Council meeting to discuss migration, security, economy and youth, and external relations in Brussels on Thursday.

Highly respected economist Pier Carlo Padoan has been reconfirmed as economy minister, reassuring the markets and Eurozone as Italy grapples with a looming banking crisis and the possibility of bank failures. He was one of the names initially put forward to replace Renzi.

Many other key cabinet figures – including Beatrice Lorenzin at health, Andrea Orlando at justice, Roberta Pinotti at defence, Graziano Delrio at transport, Dario Franceschini at culture and Giuliano Poletti at labour – have also remained in post.

The big changes concern the interior ministry, which has gone to former government undersecretary with responsibility for the secret services Marco Minniti. He replaces Angelino Alfano, leader of the junior government partner Nuovo Centro Destra (NCD), who has taken Gentiloni’s place at the foreign ministry. The other new entry is unionist and deputy senate speaker Valeria Fedeli, who replaces Stefania Giannini at the education ministry.

Gentiloni, a 62-year-old exponent of Renzi’s Partito Democratico (PD), accepted definitively the invitation from President Sergio Mattarella to form a new government following talks with most of the political forces in parliament. The right-wing Lega Nord and the anti-establishment Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S), which had called for snap elections without the formation of a new government as a solution to the crisis, did not attend the consultations.

One of the first actions of the new government may be to approve a decree on banks prepared under Renzi introducing generic tools for intervention if necessary. There is particular concern over the outcome of a five-billion-euro recapitalisation launched by Monte de Paschi di Siena, which the European Central Bank has said must be completed by the end of the year.

Other issues that will be high on the agenda of the new government are earthquake reconstruction and migration.

In addition, Gentiloni, whose government experience also includes a two-year stint as communications minister under Romano Prodi, has said he will “facilitate” the work of parliament in drawing up a new electoral law to replace the separate rules governing the two houses of parliament.