Battle against climate change is “the new frontier”: Italian PM

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ROME, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) — Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said the battle against climate change is the new frontier as he outlined the priorities for his government going forward during a year-end press conference here on Saturday.

Conte heads a coalition government made up of the Democratic Party and the Five Star Movement.

“The new frontier today is the fight against climate change,” Conte told reporters during the three-hour press conference, which was televised live. “We must fight for the implementation of the Paris accords, and spread this sensibility across all continents”.

He spoke in reference to the 2015 Paris Agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The Italian prime minister also highlighted his government’s achievements on immigration, saying that “since September, we have been relocating 98 migrants per month” and that he would work for more effective social integration of migrants who have a right to stay in Italy.

On the domestic front, Conte said the government will work to streamline bureaucracy, invest 34 percent of public spending in the country’s underdeveloped south, modernize the country’s infrastructure, cut taxes and fight tax evasion.

“If we can recover significant resources from the illegal economy, which according to some estimates is worth 100 billion euros (112 billion U.S. dollars), we can take concrete measures to cut taxes for everyone,” Conte said.

He also announced that the Education Ministry will be split into two bodies following the resignation of Lorenzo Fioramonti as education minister earlier this week.

Conte said that Italy would have a ministry for schools and one for universities and research. He named Lucia Azzolina, current undersecretary of state of the Education Ministry, as the new schools minister and Gaetano Manfredi, rector of the University of Naples Federico II, as minister of universities and research.

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