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New Italian gov't wins second confidence vote, lays out priorities
Last Updated: 2018-06-07 07:23 | Xinhua
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ITALY-ROME-NEW GOVERNMENT-LOWER HOUSE-CONFIDENCE VOTE-WINNING

Photo taken on June 6, 2018 shows the lower house of Italy's parliament in Rome, Italy. The new Italian government cleared its second administrative hurdle on Wednesday, winning a confidence vote in the lower house of Italy's parliament. (Xinhua/Alberto Lingria)

The new Italian government cleared its second administrative hurdle in as many days on Wednesday, winning a confidence vote in the lower house of Italy's parliament.

The government, led by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, won the vote with 350 votes in support and 237 against, with 35 abstentions. The result was widely expected.

A day earlier, parliament's upper house, the Senate, voted 177-117 in favor of the Conte government, with 25 abstentions. If Conte had lost either of the votes he would have been forced to step down.

With support of the anti-establishment Five-Star Movement and the nationalist League, two of Italy's three largest parties, the two outcomes were in line with expectations.

But they gave Conte a chance to outline his plan of government and gave lawmakers their chance to declare their support to give voice to their points of opposition.

Conte spoke for more than an hour Wednesday, and was interrupted multiple times by applause and catcalls.

He spoke about proposed plans for an across-the-board flat tax for companies and individuals: "We can all agree, the current tax system leaves a great deal to be desired," he said.

Conte also mentioned the need to pay down government debt, seek help in addressing the high number of migrants landing in Italy, confront organized crime, digitalize the country's civil bureaucracy, and the need to heel political wounds remaining from the campaign.

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