• Italy’s Renzi prepares for coalition talks

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    Newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi delivers a speech at Florence’s City Hall on Monday. AFP PHOTO

    Newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi delivers a speech at Florence’s City Hall on Monday. AFP PHOTO

    ROME: Italy’s Matteo Renzi was nominated to be the European Union’s youngest prime minister on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) and immediately outlined an ambitious reform plan, promising “energy, enthusiasm and commitment” to revitalize the eurozone’s third largest economy.

    Renzi said he would begin formal coalition talks on Tuesday and predicted they would take “a few days” as he negotiates to form a stable government that can survive until the next scheduled elections in 2018.

    The 39-year-old mayor of Florence said his first priority would be to tackle relentless unemployment levels and pitiful economic growth, promising Italians he would do everything possible to alleviate “despair.”

    The head of the leftist Democratic Party (PD) has raised hopes in a country thirsting for change after ousting ex-premier Enrico Letta – a member of Renzi’s party whom he accused of failing to live up to reform pledges.

    “We will take the time we need, with the knowledge that there is a sense of urgency out there and this is an extremely delicate and important time,” Renzi said after being given the mandate by President Giorgio Napolitano.

    AFP

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