Meet Italy’s new and youngest would-be Prime Minister
by FFE EU News Staff
After a power grab that got the unpopular Enrico Letta booted out of the seat as Italy’s prime minister on Thursday, the name Matteo Renzi started to ring throughout the Mediterranean country as the next premier. But who is he exactly?
Matteo Renzi is a leftist lawmaker, the current Secretary of the Democratic Party and Mayor of the city of Florence. He had also worked as President of Florence Province and had served in Italy’s legislative body since 1996.
At just 39, Renzi has become the forerunner in the race for the next prime minister as he was the one who primarily led calls to oust Letta. His nomination is also supported by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. If he wins, he will be Italy’s youngest to ever hold the premiership.
The tech-savvy and informal Renzi is popular among young Italians. However, according to poll body Ipsos, many in Italy believe that the takeover by Renzi is pointless (26%), wrong (23%) or plain absurd (13%). Only 31% said the move was a positive sign for the country.
In general, there is also a feeling of exhaustion as Italy once again changes government: Renzi will be the fourth premier in two years after Silvio Burlesconi, Mario Monti and Letta.
Popular opinion does not however stop Renzi from pursuing changes in the way Italy is run. Yesterday, the would-be premier announced his plans, including reforming the constitution, labour market, education and tax systems in the first few months of his term.
Renzi also vowed to ‘put all my energy, enthusiasm and commitment into this difficult situation,’ promising that under his leadership Italy will have a stable government until the 2018 elections. He is also set to start talks on forming a coalition government this week.