Giuseppe Conte sworn in as Italian Prime Minister

A man stands in front of an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo

A man stands in front of an electronic board showing Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo

New Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and his cabinet - the first populist government in an EU-founding member - were sworn in by President Sergio Mattarella at the presidential palace.

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The improbably fast rise of the grassroots 5-Star Movement and its alliance with the right-wing, anti-immigrant League has been dubbed the birth of Italy's Third Republic, after Italy's post-war political order was largely drubbed in the March 4 national vote.

Eleonora Tafuro Ambrosetti, a Russia expert and research fellow at the Institute for International Political Studies in Milan, said there is no proof of Russian financing of the League.

Just days ago fresh elections had seemed inevitable, but on Thursday, President Sergio Mattarella named political novice Conte as prime minister for the second time in less than a fortnight and approved his revised government forged by the nationalist League and anti-establishment Five Star Movement.

Salvini, who is also joint deputy prime minister and interior minister in the populist coalition government sworn in on Friday, has ridden a wave of public discontent in recent years, playing on anti-immigrant sentiment as hundreds of thousands of migrants landed in Italy.

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His first attempt to assemble an M5S-League coalition government collapsed on Sunday.

Conte, 53, who has been criticised as being a "Mr Nobody", named hardline anti-migrant Salvini as interior minister, while Di Maio is minister for economic development.

Mattarella had objected to the coalition nominating anti-euro politician Paolo Savona as Minister of Economy and Finances and used his veto as President to block Conte from forming government.

Despite their agreement on key points in a broader populist agenda, the two parties found plenty of other disputes to hold up formation of a government.

Di Maio is expected to lead a powerful new post that will combine labour and industry portfolios, in a move that could mark big changes to labour and environmental policies, given the M5S's stated opposition to big industry.

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The foreign minister will be pro-European Enzo Moavero Milanesi, a former minister for European affairs.

The Russian government repeatedly has said it never meddled in the domestic affairs of European Union nations.

Mr Conte was first appointed as prime minister-designate by President Mattarella to form a government on 23 May.

In addition, Mr Salvini says he is considering action against organisations rescuing migrants at sea.

Yet migrant arrivals to Italy actually plunged in the previous year under the center-left Democratic Party, which signed controversial deals with Libya to beef up coastal patrols and prevent migrants from setting out in smugglers' boats across the Mediterranean Sea.

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French leader Marine Le Pen hailed the new government as "a victory of democracy over intimidation and threats from the European Union".

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