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Italian center-left leader rejects gov't reshuffle

English.news.cn   2014-01-07 05:51:50            

By Marzia De Giuli

ROME, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Matteo Renzi, new head of the largest party in Italy's ruling coalition, assured he will continue to preserve political stability as the country struggles to emerge from recession, local reports said on Monday.

Renzi, who won in a December primary to choose the secretary of the center-left Democratic Party (PD), stressed he "will not call for a government reshuffle."

The PD's only concern was "citizens who do not have a job, not politicians who worry about which chairs may change," he was quoted as saying by Italy's newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The remarks came after another leading voice of PD, Stefano Fassina, announced his resignation as Italy's deputy economy minister on Saturday at the end of an escalating face-off with Renzi.

Fassina has a more conservative view of the center-left's policy and close relation with labor unions. He had demanded the PD ministers in the coalition be reshuffled to reflect what he described as a new phase since Renzi was voted leader.

Renzi's sharp reply, however, could be a sign that the mayor of Florence, who will turn 39 on Saturday, has consolidated the grip on his party, analysts said.

Renzi has insisted on the need for a change of Italy's political class, promising that he and his group will try their best to re-launch the country.

Though he is not in government, Renzi has been quick to outline a "government pact" of Italy's much-needed structural reforms that the PD is set to seal this month with its center-right partner, a group of moderates who split from former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's party.

Berlusconi himself, who is leading his party from outside parliament as he was stripped of his Senate seat amid a series of legal troubles, said he "positively welcomed" the strategy for growth outlined by Renzi.

After its longest postwar recession, Italy's economy has stopped contracting in the third quarter of last year and has showed gradual signals of improvement, although the recovery remains fragile.

At the top of his priorities, Renzi put a new electoral law to replace the current one, which has been blamed for frequent political instability and was declared unconstitutional by Italy's Constitutional Court.

He also said the Senate should be deprived of its equal law-making status with the lower house, while some other political bodies should be abolished to cut huge public spending. Other proposals focused on civil rights.

According to observers, Renzi has what it takes to defeat the center-right in the next national election, widely expected in 2015.

The Florence mayor has promised he will continue to back Prime Minister Enrico Letta's government if it moves swiftly to enact the reforms, but he may try to bring the coalition down and force early elections if it does not do so.

Editor: yan
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