December 20, 2018 / 6:53 AM / 2 months ago

Italian PM Conte says not ready to step aside after EU vote-paper

FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte attends a news conference after a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium December 14, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told an Italian newspaper on Thursday he was not ready to give up his job in favour of Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini after a European election in May.

“Honestly not, I’m not ready to hand over the baton,” Conte told the Corriere della Sera daily when asked if he was willing to be replaced by Salvini, whose right-wing League party has become the most popular party in the coalition.

“This government is an expression of a reform project that requires the full length of the mandate,” Conte said.

Reporting by Valentina Za; editing by Darren Schuettler

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