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Asked about the arrival of Salvini on Sunday, Marco Rotunno of the UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, said it was too early to comment but added that "there are a lot of people fleeing war and persecution who are in need of worldwide protection".

However Salvini said he would not be attending, as he will be in Italy's parliament for a confidence vote on the new coalition with Five Star.

A controversial agreement between Italy's former centre-left government and authorities and militias in Libya has triggered a decline in overall arrivals of some 75 percent since the summer of 2017.

The coalition will be headed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, a popular but untested political figure who was rejected by President Sergio Mattarella just days ago.

Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio, the leaders of the right-wing League and euroskeptic 5-Star Movement, respectively, appeared at political rallies in several Sicilian cities a week before municipal elections are held on the island region.

Mr Tria has been critical of the EU's economic governance, but unlike Mr Savona he has not advocated a contingency plan for exiting the euro. He has already promised to reduce the number of arrivals and increase the number of expulsions. Di Maio will be the new joint industry and labor ministry, aiming to introduce a basic income for job seekers and poor families; Salvini is the interior minister, with a goal of cracking down on undocumented migrants.

"Their actions so far have been a mix of extremism, anti-Europeanism and inequity".

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Nigel Farage, former leader of Britain's UKIP party that played a key role in the Brexit campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, wished good luck to the two Italian parties.

It was a reference to European Union officials, who have made clear in recent days their concerns - in occasionally undiplomatic terms - about Italy's euroskeptic direction.

Salvini has branded as "racist" advice from European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for Italians to work harder and be less corrupt instead of blaming their woes on the EU. That means more work, less corruption. She said that their two countries had longstanding ties of friendship and cooperation and both of the leaders agreed they were looking forward to this continuing.

His comments sparked outrage in Italy, with Salvini blasting them as "racist" in his victory speech Thursday in northern Lombardy.

"Bravo, the coalition of Matteo Salvini's Lega party [and the M5S led by Di Maio], which has ultimately formed a new Italian government".

"We're not Martians, and we'll prove it", said the premier, who in a play on his law professor profession promises to be the "defence lawyer" of the Italian people in an "Italians first" government.

"We are radically something other than the majority that supports this government", Renzi tweeted.


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