14:05 GMT +314 October 2019
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    EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker rings the bell as he opens the college of commissioners at EU headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    Juncker Lectures Italy on Corruption Amid Political Uncertainty

    © AP Photo / Geert Vanden Wijngaert
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    The leaders of Italy's populist Five Star Movement and right-wing Lega Party have announced that they have clinched a new agreement on the formation of a coalition "political" government to tackle ongoing political turmoil in the country.

    Speaking at a question and answer session in Brussels, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urged Italians "to take care of the poor regions" of the country, which he said "means more work and less corruption."

    "We will help them as we always have. But don't play this game of loading the EU with responsibility. A country is a country, a nation is a nation. Countries first, Europe second," Juncker pointed out.

    READ MORE: Turmoil in Italy 'Might Spread to Other Countries in Europe' – Economic Analyst

    He called for a "silent, prudent and cautious" approach on the matter, saying that he has "full confidence in the genius of the Italian people."

    Juncker's remarks come as Italy remains in the grip of political tumult after the country's President, Sergio Mattarella, rejected the formation of a coalition government proposed by the euro-sceptic Lega Party and the Five Star Movement (M5S).

    READ MORE: Analyst: 'Italy Sees Collapse of Everything on Left Side of Political Spectrum'

    The two parties have accused President Sergio Mattarella of betraying the constitution and demanded early elections.

    The warning was preceded by the resignation of Italy's Prime Minister-designate Giuseppe Conte, who gave up his bid to form a government following Mattarella's decision to veto his pick for the next economy minister.

    All this prompted shock waves throughout European, US and Asian stock markets, as the euro plunged against the dollar and the main indexes nose-dived amid concerns for the future of the eurozone.

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    Tags:
    responsibility, corruption, government, turmoil, agreement, European Commission, Lega Party, Five Star Movement (M5S), Jean-Claude Juncker, Italy
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