Renzi new Italian PM
ROME (AP) – Matteo Renzi will be sworn in as Italy’s youngest prime minister ever today after he cobbled together a government he says will change the face of the country’s politics and economy.
Renzi, the 39-year-old leader of the centre-left Democratic Party, unveiled his government yesterday and said the broad coalition would bring hope to the economically stagnant country.
After formally accepting the mandate to form the government, Renzi said he will waste no time in enacting reform.
“We aim tomorrow [this] morning to immediately do the things that need to get done,” he said.
Renzi had been serving as Florence mayor when he engineered a power grab last week to effectively force fellow Democrat, Enrico Letta, to step down after 10 months at the helm of a fragile, often-squabbling coalition.
However, he is depending on the same coalition partners and hopes that the government will last through to the end of the current parliament in 2018.
His Democrats will remain the biggest party, propped up by two smaller groupings – supporters of former premier Mario Monti and former loyalists of centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi.
Renzi recently cut a deal with Berlusconi, who has been kept out of office by a tax fraud conviction, to work swiftly for parliamentary passage of electoral reforms.
In a key development, Renzi’s economy minister will be Pier Carlo Padoan, the well-respected chief economist of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international think-tank of leading economies.
Renzi will be the third straight premier to come to office without being elected; the last premier who stood for election was the scandal-tainted Berlusconi in 2008. The aim of the political reforms is to give Italy a clear winner at the ballot box.