Sunday

28th Aug 2016

Younger rival ousts Italian PM

  • Renzi: 'Italy cannot live in a situation of uncertainty' (Photo: Il Fatto Quotidiano)

The 39-year-old mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, has ousted Italy’s centre-left Prime Minister, Enrico Letta, after an internal party vote.

"Following the decisions taken today in the national committee of the Democratic party, I have informed the president, Giorgio Napolitano, of my desire to go to the Quirinale tomorrow to tender my resignation as prime minister," Letta said in a statement on Thursday (13 February).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The party voted 136 votes to 16, with two abstentions, to create a new government with the task of pulling Italy out of a crisis that has seen its economy shrink by nine percent in seven years.

The new government is set to take over until 2018.

Following the vote, Renzi told party members “Italy cannot live in a situation of uncertainty and instability. We are at a crossroads.”

The Florence mayor, who led the call for change and is the party leader since December, was not officially announced as Letta’s successor but is almost certain to become Italy’s next prime minister.

The 88-year old Napolitano is expected to ask Renzi to step into Letta’s role once he officially resigns on Friday, making the mayor the third prime minister in the past three years to take power without winning an election.

Described as charismatic and ambitious, Renzi has had little experience in national politics. He has never been elected to parliament.

An election under the existing electoral rules, he says, would risk creating a deadlock and jeopardise attempts by the new administration to implement much needed constitutional, electoral and bureaucratic reforms by 2018.

As the eurozone’s third largest economy, Italy is struggling to reign in high unemployment rates not seen in the past 40 years with frustration mounting against the slow pace of government-led improvements.

Public debt tops €2 trillion and youth unemployment is at 41 percent.

Renzi is perceived by some analysts as someone more likely than Letta to break EU budget rules in favour of structural reforms. He is also said to want to loosen rules on hiring and firing for companies.

correction: this article originally stated Italy was the EU's third largest economy when in fact it is the eurozone's third largest economy

News in Brief

  1. Hungary plans to reinforce border fence against migrants
  2. France's highest court suspends burkini ban
  3. Greeks paid €1bn more in taxes in June
  4. Greek minister denounces EU letter on former statistics chief
  5. Turks seeking asylum in Greece may cause diplomatic row
  6. Merkel becomes digital resident of Estonia
  7. Report: VW will compensate US dealers with €1bln
  8. EU mulls making Google pay news media for content

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. GoogleBrussels - home of beer, fries, chocolate and Google’s Public Policy Team - follow @GoogleBrussels
  2. HuaweiSeeds for the Future Programme to Bring Students from 50 countries to China for Much-Needed ICT Training
  3. EFASpain is not a democratic state. EFA expresses its solidarity to Arnaldo Otegi and EH Bildu
  4. UNICEFBoko Haram Violence in Lake Chad Region Leaves Children Displaced and Trapped
  5. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  6. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  7. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Confirms the Application of Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  8. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  9. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  10. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER
  11. EURidNominate Your Favourite .eu or .ею Website for the .EU Web Awards 2016 Today!
  12. Dialogue PlatformAn Interview on Gulen Movement & Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey