Ultra-conservative Salvini ally takes over European Affairs job

Ultra-conservative Salvini ally takes over European Affairs job
Lorenzo Fontana of the League. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
A right-wing government minister known for his hardline Catholic views was named Italy's new minister for European Affairs on Wednesday.

Lorenzo Fontana, currently Minister for Families and Disabilities, takes over the post that had been handled on an interim basis for several months by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

Fontana, 39, is a close ally of Italy's co-deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini.

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It was Salvini, the eurosceptic leader of the far-right League party to which Fontana also belongs, who proposed Fontana to the post.

During his time as families minister, Fontana has become known for his traditional Catholic views and his vocal opposition to abortion and to surrogacy.

He supported Salvini's attempt to put “mother and father” on childrens' ID cards, and said that same-sex parents “don't exist at the moment, as far as the law is concerned”. He claimed to believe only in “natural” families with one mother and one father.

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Fontana has served as a councillor in the city of Verona, including a period as deputy mayor. He has also served as a deputy in the European Parliament.

He will be sworn in later Wednesday along with his replacement as families minister, Alessandra Locatelli, another member of the League party, said Conte.

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