Italian official tries to form new government

Matteo Renzi ousted Enrico Letta as leader.
Matteo Renzi ousted Enrico Letta as leader.

ROME — Italy’s president asked the brash young leader of the Democratic Party, Matteo Renzi, on Monday to try to form a new government after Renzi managed to oust the previous premier in a power grab.

Renzi, the mayor of Florence, met for more than an hour with President Giorgio Napolitano. Afterward he said he would go to work immediately on forging a new coalition, with talks with potential partners formally beginning on Tuesday.

He said he would need a ‘‘few days’’ to see whether he can succeed.


But he told reporters that by the end of the month he would propose new legislation to reform Italy’s electoral law to make the country more governable.

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By March, he promised new measures to create jobs in a country where 40 percent of young people are without work.

‘‘I will put all the courage, energy, and enthusiasm I can muster to deal with the most important emergency: that of the labor market,’’ he said after the meeting.

Renzi had orchestrated a mutiny within the Democratic Party to oust Enrico Letta as premier last week, accusing him of failing to jumpstart Italy’s economy, even though Italy reported its first positive GDP in nearly three years that same week.

Renzi’s first challenge is to form a coalition government that can win confidence votes in both houses of Parliament.


That is no easy task, given that his aggressive power-grab has alienated even some within his own Democratic Party.

Associated Press