ROME, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- As Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta officially submitted his resignation on Friday, a round of consultations would soon be underway between President Giorgio Napolitano and all parliamentary forces to choose a successor.
Letta was force to quit the post after his own PD and major forces in the ruling coalition called for a new cabinet to be formed in order to implement reforms more swiftly and better tackle the economic crisis.
Centre-right Forza Italia party and other opposition forces called for him to go in order to give more "formality" to a political crisis that broke out from within the main PD ruling party.
Letta had a 50-minute talk with the head of state at the presidential palace Friday morning after holding his last cabinet meeting as scheduled. The presidency said in a statement Napolitano would move "quickly" to resolve the crisis and name a new government that can adopt much-needed economic and political reforms.
As the leader of the largest party in parliament, the 39-year-old Democratic Party (PD) chief Matteo Renzi is expected to be given a mandate to try to form a new government.
He would likely seek to form a majority with the same partners that had supported Letta, local media reported.
The center-left party withdrew its support to Letta after its leadership committee gathered for a tense meeting on Thursday in Rome and turned to back Renzi with a vast majority of votes, in his request for "a new government that could last until the natural term of the legislature in 2018."
So, if Renzi could gain a majority in parliament, the mandate may arrive as early as Sunday, making him the youngest prime minister in the history of the Italian republic.
Renzi went back to Florence, where he is mayor, after the meeting. He released a short comment on the events, saying "It is a very delicate moment, but also one of the best of my life."
Both the president and the parties seemed quite aware that prolonged instability would hurt Italy as international observers and leaders of major countries have been closely tracking the development. European partners' comments seemed to corroborate this fear.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, through her spokesman, said "Germany is following the crisis with great attention and it wishes for a swift solution."
Meanwhile, Moody's Investors Service on Friday raised Italy's government bond rating to stable from negative, citing improved financial strength in the European country.
The rating agency said Letta's resignation could not alter its expectations.
Italian PM Letta resigns, consultations on new cabinet to begin soon
ROME, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta officially submitted his resignation to President Giorgio Napolitano on Friday.
Letta was received at the presidential palace late in the morning, and had a 50-minute talk with the head of state, after holding his last cabinet meeting as scheduled. Full story