Italy's new government, by the numbers

Jessica Phelan
Jessica Phelan - [email protected]
Italy's new government, by the numbers
Italy's new prime minister, Giuseppe Conte. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Close to three months after a fiercely fought election, Italy has a government – and for the first time, it's run entirely by populists. The Local breaks down the historic cabinet in figures.


One: the number of the European Union's founding members to have elected a government of populists.

Two: the number of parties governing Italy. The Five Star Movement (M5S) and the League thrashed out a compromise between the two of them, minus the two other parties that the League ran with in the general election in March.

Three: the number of times that a president has vetoed a nominee for minister in the past 25 years. In each case, parties have come to much the same solution the M5S and League reached: switching the disputed nominee to a less sensitive portfolio. Only in this instance, however, did the parties throw in the towel, only to grab it back a few days later.

Four: the number of days that Carlo Cottarelli was prime minister in waiting. The economist was designated caretaker PM on Monday, but gave up his mandate on Thursday after party leaders made a last-minute compromise to form their political government.


Four: the number of people who now have "prime minister" in their job description. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has two deputies, Luigi Di Maio of the M5S and the League's Matteo Salvini, as well as an "undersecretary for prime minister", Giancarlo Giorgetti.

Five: the number of women in the new cabinet. Out of 18 ministers. It's hardly the gender-equal cabinet that the M5S had promised prior to the election.

Five: also the number of years in a full legislative term. Will this one last that long? In Italy, most don't.

Six: the number of ministers aligned with the League. Nine are aligned with the M5S and another three are considered independent. 

Eight: the number of ministers who are not in parliament and do not hold a position of elected office. It's a little ironic for two parties who so vehemently opposed the prospect of an unelected, technocratic government.


17: the percentage of the popular vote that the League won in the general election. The M5S won 33 percent, making them Italy's single biggest party by some way. 

32: the size of the coalition's majority in the lower house of parliament. It's even smaller in the upper house: under ten votes.

57: the number of pages in the M5S-League joint government programme. (You don't have to read them all: find a summary here.)

60-70: the percentage of Italians who oppose leaving the euro, according to a recent survey. Both the M5S and the League say that option's off the table, but it's something both parties have pushed for until recently.

81: the age of Italy's oldest cabinet minister, Paolo Savona, who also happens to be the most controversial. Read a profile of him here

88: the number of days it took since the March 4th vote to form a government. Since the founding of the Italian Republic after World War Two, the average has been 44.7 days; before now, the record was set in 1992, when a coalition of Socialists, Christian Democrats and Liberals took 85 days to agree on a cabinet. The resulting government's time in office was as short as the negotiations were long: it lasted just ten months

READ ALSO: Here is Italy's new cabinet in full

Photo: Italian Presidency Press Office/AFP


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