ROME, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- The leader of the center-left Democratic Party (PD), Matteo Renzi, was appointed as new Italian Prime Minister on Monday.
Renzi, 39-year-old mayor of Florence, was summoned by Italian president Giorgio Napolitano at Quirinale presidential palace in the morning and given a mandate to try to form a new cabinet, after the resignation of Prime Minister Enrico Letta last week.
"I accepted the mandate President Napolitano has given me with reserve, and I will put all my energy and strength in the commitment of forming a new government that could last until the natural end of the parliamentary term and implement all necessary reforms," Renzi told reporters.
"Today I will meet with the presidents of the Senate and the House of Chambers and then I will begin talks with political parties to strike a deal on the program," Renzi added.
"The new program will require an urgent discussion on constitutional reforms to be carried out during February. Then government and parliament will be put at work on the unemployment emergency in March and on the reform of public administration and tax system between April and June," he concluded.
Renzi is the youngest Italian prime minister ever.
Intense and swift consultations with political parties were carried out by president Napolitano on Friday and Saturday, in order to shorten the political uncertainty as much as possible.
It was widely expected that Renzi would be chosen for the role, since he leads the largest party in parliament.
Renzi became prime minister after ousting Letta, who resigned on Friday following a call of his own Democratic Party on Thursday for a new administration and a more incisive implementation of reforms.
Letta was increasingly blamed by PD for the slow pace of his cabinet in dealing with the crisis. His younger rival Renzi said that the country had an urgent need to end "uncertainty" and pull out from the economic "swamp."
Renzi also told reporters on Monday that he would start meetings with possible allies on Tuesday and he would especially try to negotiate a deal with the small New Centre Right (NCD) party, which was part of the outgoing left-right coalition already.
NCD's support is necessary to the Democratic Party to secure a majority in both chambers of the parliament. The party, which split from Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (FI) last year, said it is ready to back a government with Renzi provided that the program bears clear center-right marks on certain issues such as family policies, tax, civil rights of gay and lesbian and ethical topics.
Angelino Alfano, NCD's leader, warned Renzi that an agreement was "not for granted" and said on Sunday that "if NCD says no, the government will not be born."
If negotiations succeed, the new cabinet will have to swear in at Quirinale presidential palace and then ask for a confidence vote in parliament. According to local media, all these passages would require until Saturday at latest.
Even before Renzi was officially appointed, speculations have been high about who would be in charge of Economy and Finance ministry. Lucrezia Reichlin, professor of Economics at the London School of Business, and former member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank Lorenzo Bini Smaghi were among the possible candidates, according to local media.
Italy technically pulled out of its longest recession in 40 years after showing an unchanged gross domestic product in the third quarter of 2013. Its economy grew then by a small 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter.
Italy managed to maintain its deficit under control for the third year in a row and saw improvement in its debt and public finances too. Many families and businesses, however, still face economic hardship and unemployment rates remains at record levels.
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. Full story