Italian Premier Conte Sees ‘Swan Song’ of Europe's Old Order

(Bloomberg) -- Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte promised that the country’s economic growth will return and that the coalition will press ahead, after being sharply criticized in the European Parliament earlier this week.

“I had the impression that for some members of the European Parliament, the discussion on Tuesday was a bit of a swan song,” Conte told newspaper Corriere della Sera in an interview. European voters will elect a new Parliament in May.

Conte was accused by one European lawmaker of being a “puppet” of deputy premiers Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio. Conte shot back during the session, rejecting the label and adding that he was pleased to be working on the changes that the Italian people want.

“My government expresses the change under way in Italy and in Europe,” Conte told Corriere. “That is why they attacked me.”

Speaking to newspaper La Repubblica, Conte said that his government will not fall and that growth will return to the economy that slipped into recession at the end of last year.

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