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Italy’s likely PM arrives in Rome for talks with President

Italy’s likely PM arrives in Rome for talks with President

PanARMENIAN.Net - The mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, has arrived at the presidential palace in Rome, where he is likely to be asked to form a new Italian government, BBC News reports.

The visit follows the resignation of Enrico Letta on Friday, Feb 14, after he was ousted in a vote called by Mr Renzi at a meeting of their centre-left Democratic Party.

President Giorgio Napolitano held talks with political leaders over the weekend to find a replacement Prime Minister.

If he is nominated, Renzi will become Italy's youngest Prime Minister.

He arrived for talks with President Napolitano shortly before 10:30 (09:30 GMT). Party colleague Maria Elena Boschi said it would take several days to form a new administration, once he was given the mandate.

After that he would need to win votes of confidence in both houses of parliament.

Renzi, 39, helped to engineer Letta's ousting as prime minister after questioning the performance of his coalition government and accusing him of failing to implement promised reforms of what is seen as an often corrupt and wasteful bureaucracy.

The ex-Prime Minister had come under increasing pressure over Italy's poor economic performance and Renzi argued that a change of government was needed to end "uncertainty".

Letta's position became untenable once the Democratic Party backed a call for a new administration. He only lasted 10 months in post after forming a coalition government with the centre-right last year.

Renzi's initial priority will be to secure the support of the small New Centre Right (NCD) party in order to command a parliamentary majority and start cabinet building.

So far, the leader of the centre-right faction that formed the previous coalition with the Democratic Party and the centrists has given a guarded response to Renzi's plans.

Angelino Alfano warned that the coalition remaining intact was "not a given" and told his party supporters he would demand promises from Renzi before joining the new government.

"We are decisive for the creation of the new government. If we say no to this government, it won't come to life," he said. Italian media report that the two men have been in regular contact by text message over the weekend.

The mayor of Florence has never been elected to parliament or served in government before and is viewed by many as an outsider.

Once he has formed a government, Renzi will have to return to the president for his nomination to be confirmed and will then be sworn into office.

Then, in order to win the support of both houses of parliament, Renzi will need the support of senators and deputies in both the NCD and the centrist Civic Choice, the former party of ex-PM Mario Monti, as well as other smaller parties.

Photo: Ansa
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