Italy central to Europe, says European Commission chief

Brussels, Aug 29 (IANS/AKI) European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday complimented Italy's Premier Giuseppe Conte on being invited to form a centre-left government, saying the country played a key role in Europe.

Juncker "sends his warmest best wishes to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in his task of forming a new government," Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told reporters here.

"Italy plays a central role in the European family: we are counting on its active contribution to the European project," she added.

Juncker "will be in touch today" with Conte, she concluded.

Conte has conditionally accepted Italian President Sergio Mattarella's mandate to try and form a new cabinet and is likely be given a few days to do so and to ensure it would have a working majority in parliament.

A coalition between the centre-left Democratic Party and the grassroots 5-Star Movement will be put to an online vote by 5-Star members, party leader Luigi Di Maio has announced.

--IANS/AKI

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