Monday

17th Jan 2022

Italy hopes young, new PM will break deadlock

  • Letta (l) would be Italy's youngest Prime Minster in 25 years (Photo: Enrico Letta)

Italy nominated Enrico Letta as its new Prime Minister on Wednesday (24 April) in a move it hopes will end a two-month parliamentary deadlock.

"The country is waiting for a government. Everyone knows this is situation that cannot go on like this," Letta said.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The prime-minister-designate is the deputy leader of the centre-left Democratic party (PD). At 46, he would be Italy’s youngest prime minister in 25 years.

The 87-year old Giorgio Napolitano, elected President over the weekend, chose Letta as the best candidate to create a broad-based coalition needed to form a government. Political parties have been unable to agree on a coalition since February elections.

He drove himself in his own Fiat estate car to accept the prime ministerial mandate.

Letta has a broad political background, with an uncle who worked as chief of staff during former PM Silvio Berlusconi's time in office.

He started off his political career with the centre-right Christian Democratic party, but later joined Romano Prodi’s centre-left coalition shortly after Berlusconi entered politics in 1994.

Letta was a youth member of the centre-right party from 1991 until 1995.

He has a degree in European Law and worked in the finance ministry until he became Italy's youngest minister of European affairs in 1998 at the age of 32.

He later worked in the industry ministry and the foreign trade ministry until 2001. In 2006, he was elected cabinet secretary in Prodi's government.

If he cobbles together a coalition, his first task will be to select ministers for his cabinet before the new government sets out to reform Italy's electoral law and revitalise a stagnating economy.

The BBC reports that he wants to streamline the parliament by cutting the number of deputies and by reforming the assembly.

"This government will not be born at any cost - there will be conditions. I will give my all for it because Italians are fed up with these little political games," he said.

Some analysts believe that the three-time PM and convicted fraudster Berlusconi's position has been strengthened by Letta's nomination.

Berlusconi’s coalition of conservatives is the second largest in the assembly with 241 lawmakers.

The 76-year-old billionaire is now the key figure in talks to shape the Letta’s new cabinet, reports Bloomberg.

Italian MPs re-elect Napolitano

Italian MPs have re-elected President Giorgio Napolitano, paving the way for an end to political stalemate in the eurozone's third-largest economy.

MEPs to declare EU an LGBTI 'freedom zone'

The symbolic move is an attempt to buttress against right-wing governments' increased scapegoating of LGBTI people, particularly in Poland and Hungary.

News in Brief

  1. French parliament agrees stricter vaccine-pass system
  2. US speaks to energy firms about EU gas cut-off scenario
  3. Anti-vax protests held in the Netherlands, Hungary, Austria
  4. German MEP spends €690,000 on office renovation
  5. Microsoft identified destructive malware in Ukraine agencies
  6. Danish intelligence crisis deepens
  7. Hackers expose Polish military secrets
  8. Swedish soldiers might leave Sahel due to Russian fighters

EU adds new 'dark red' zone to travel-restrictions map

The European Commission has proposed additional measures to limit non-essential travel within and to the European Union - amid fears over more transmissible mutations triggering a new surge in cases across the bloc.

Latest News

  1. James Kanter, Shada Islam are new editors at EUobserver
  2. The loopholes and low bar in Macron's push for a global tax
  3. No love for Russia in latest EU strategy
  4. New EU Parliament chief elected This WEEK
  5. Lead MEP now wants ETS opt-out for homes and private cars
  6. MEPs seek probe into EU commissioner over Bosnia
  7. EU's Borrell contradicts Germany on Russia gas pipeline
  8. It's time for a more geopolitical EU-Turkey cooperation

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us