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Conte thanks Gentiloni for service to Italy

Conte thanks Gentiloni for service to Italy

Italy's populist prime minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday thanked outgoing centre-left premier Paolo Gentiloni for his two years of service to Italy.

"A thank you to prime minister Gentiloni. Now down to work for the good of the country," wrote Conte, a law professor, in a Facebook post.

Conte uploaded to his Facebook page a photo of him with Gentiloni during a ceremony at the parliament on Friday when Gentiloni handed him the bell that prime ministers traditionally ring to call their ministers to order at the start of a cabinet meeting.

In a tweet ahead of Friday's ceremony Gentiloni thanked his outgoing cabinet and his wife.

"Serving Italy has been an honour. Today we leave the country in better shape than we found it in five years ago," Gentiloni wrote.

Gentiloni is a member of the Democratic Party, which had ruled Italy since 2013. Gentiloni became caretaker premier in December 2016 when his predecessor Matteo Renzi resigned after a crushing defeat in a key constitutional referendum.