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italian prime minister

Paolo Gentiloni has been appointed Italy’s new prime minister after Matteo Renzi’s resignation.

Matteo Renzi resigned after losing a referendum on constitutional reform last week.

The 62-year-old former foreign minister is a loyalist from Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party.

Correspondents say that if Gentiloni is successful in rallying support a government could be formed in days.

Image source Wikipedia

Image source Wikipedia

In a brief acceptance speech, Paolo Gentiloni said he realized the urgency of forming the government to reassure the country.

The new prime minister said he would work within the framework of the previous administration, making it likely that he will reappoint several ministers.

Paolo Gentiloni faces a banking crisis and a rise in popular support for anti-establishment and eurosceptic parties.

Opposition parties have ruled out joining a national unity government, with the populist Five Star Movement saying it will boycott a parliamentary approval vote, due to take place on December 14, because it would have not legitimacy.

The party has called for immediate elections, currently due to be held in May 2018.

However, President Sergio Mattarella has said the current electoral rules must be revised so both houses of parliament are synchronized.

The law was changed to the so-called “Italicum” system last year to give the leading party a parliamentary majority through bonus seats in the lower Chamber of Deputies. But there has been no such change in the Senate, which is elected by proportional representation.

Senate reforms formed part of the package of reforms put to Italian voters on December 4, while the legitimacy of the system for the Chamber of Deputies is to be ruled on in January.

Matteo Renzi’s plans for constitutional reform were rejected by a margin of 59% to 41%, prompting his decision to stand down.


Eggs were thrown at Italian PM Matteo Renzi’s staff car as he arrived at a new Alcatel-Lucent factory in northern Italy on November 6.

It was the second time this week that eggs were thrown towards PM Matteo Renzi as tensions in Italy mount over plans that will make it easier for companies to fire people.

Trade union activists, carrying signs saying “no unfair dismissal” and “tax the rich, jobs for everyone”, gathered outside the French telecommunications company’s new plant in Monza, where Matteo Renzi gave a speech calling for “crucial” investment in technology, both within Italy and the EU, and for the eurozone to break from the shackles of democracy.

Eggs were thrown at Italian PM Matteo Renzi’s staff car as he arrived at a new Alcatel-Lucent factory

Eggs were thrown at Italian PM Matteo Renzi’s staff car as he arrived at a new Alcatel-Lucent factory

Matteo Renzi was reportedly unscathed by the attack and hustled into the building through a side door, Ansa reported.

Matteo Renzi’s pithy rejoinder that “if they throw eggs, I’ll make crepes” did nothing to calm the controversy.

The egg attack comes a few days after scuffles broke out between protesters and police on November 3 in Brescia, where PM Matteo Renzi gave a speech to local industrialists.

Unions are incensed about Matteo Renzi’s so-called Jobs Act, a series of labor reforms which will make it easier for companies to hire, but also fire, people.

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A deal on the formation of a new government has been reached in Italy, ending two months of political deadlock since the general election.

The agreement was announced after Prime Minister-designate Enrico Letta met President Giorgio Napolitano.

The coalition brings together Enrico Letta’s Democratic Party (PD) and the People of Freedom party (PDL) of former PM Silvio Berlusconi.

The swearing-in is to take place on Sunday at 11:30 local time.

Silvio Berlusconi had said he would not be a minister, but had pushed for leading figures from his party to be given top posts.

Angelino Alfano, the PDL’s secretary, will become deputy prime minister and interior minister in the new government.

Among the other key appointments proposed, Bank of Italy director general Fabrizio Saccomanni will head the powerful economy ministry and former European Commissioner Emma Bonino will become foreign minister.

Italian Prime Minister-designate Enrico Letta has agreed new government ending two months of political deadlock

Italian Prime Minister-designate Enrico Letta has agreed new government ending two months of political deadlock

The formation of the new government brings to an end a political deadlock that has unnerved financial markets since February’s inconclusive election.

President Giorgio Napolitano said the government would have the support of both chambers of parliament.

“I hope that this government can get to work quickly in the spirit of fervent co-operation and without any prejudice or conflict,” he said.

“It was and is the only possible government.”

The new government has to deal with a rapidly declining economic situation, rising unemployment – particularly among under the 35s – and lack of growth, despite some draconian austerity measures passed by the previous government of technocrats.

Enrico Letta, 46, is considered a moderate within the PD and is linked to Silvio Berlusconi through his uncle, Gianni Letta, who is one of Berlusconi’s closest aides.

Silvio Berlusconi is still contesting charges of tax fraud and sex with an underage prostitute, but recent opinion polls suggest his popularity has increased, giving him greater bargaining power.

Enrico Letta expressed “sober satisfaction over the team we put together”.

He has said he will shift the focus away from austerity to resolve Europe’s economic problems.

Enrico Letta’s candidacy for prime minister emerged after the PD leader, Pier Luigi Bersani, announced his resignation following a party rebellion over his choice for Italian president and his refusal to work with Silvio Berlusconi.

The third strongest force to emerge from the Italian election, the Five Star movement led by former comedian, Beppe Grillo, has refused to take part in a coalition with the two main parties.

He likened such a coalition to “an orgy worthy of the best of bunga bunga” in a barb directed at Silvio Berlusconi’s renowned private parties.

President Giorgio Napolitano, who is serving an unprecedented second term, has suggested he might resign if a new government fails to enact reforms.

Italian government – proposed posts:

  • Enrico Letta, 46: Prime minister
  • Angelino Alfano, 42: Deputy PM and interior  minister
  • Fabrizio Saccomanni, 70: Economy minister
  • Emma Bonino, 65: Foreign minister
  • Anna Maria Cancellieri, 69: Justice minister
  • Enrico Giovannini, 55: Labour minister
  • Mario Mauro, 51: Defence minister

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Silvio Berlusconi has confirmed he will run for prime minister again in 2013.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi told reporters in Milan that he was “running to win” – and that his decision came after his People of Freedom party had not found a leader who was as well known as him.

Silvio Berlusconi, 76, said PM Mario Monti’s austerity policies had harmed Italy.

He resigned in November 2011 over Italy’s economic troubles and was convicted of tax fraud in October.

He is appealing against that ruling.

Silvio Berlusconi is also on trial accused of paying for sex with an under-age prostitute, in the so-called “Ruby” case. He denies wrongdoing.

He has already served as Italy’s prime minister for three separate terms and built up what is believed to be a vast personal fortune from his business empire.

Silvio Berlusconi told reporters in Milan that everyone in his party had agreed that the PDL needed a leader “like Berlusconi in 1994” but “there wasn’t one”.

Silvio Berlusconi has confirmed he will run for prime minister again in 2013

Silvio Berlusconi has confirmed he will run for prime minister again in 2013

“It’s not that we did not look… but one needs time to be imposed as leader,” the former prime minister said, mentioning the PDL secretary general Angelino Alfano.

He said he was entering the race because polls put the centre-right PDL behind the Italian left.

The PDL abstained from confidence votes in parliament on Thursday – which the government won.

Mario Monti replaced Silvio Berlusconi as prime minister just over a year ago, and launched a programme of reforms aimed at pulling Italy out of economic crisis.

Silvio Berlusconi said his party had given “proof of great responsibility and had supported [Mario Monti’s] technocrat government for a year, seeking to correct policies that are not convincing, whilst insisting that austerity in an economy that does not grow is harmful. And harm has been done”.

The former leader said he had not missed the office of prime minister “not even for a minute” and he was returning out of a “sense of responsibility”.

Referring to his confrontation with the Italian judiciary, Silvio Berlusconi said he saw it with “a great sense of fear because we have to do with an omnipotent judiciary”.

Mario Monti is due to hold talks with the Italian president later.

President Giorgio Napolitano has said he wants to avoid a “turbulent” end to Mario Monti’s technocratic government.

Silvio Berlusconi has said he feels “obliged” to stay in politics, a day after receiving a jail term for tax fraud.

The former Italian Prime Minister said he wanted to “reform the justice system so that what happened to me doesn’t happen to other citizens”.

Later Silvio Berlusconi confirmed he did not want to stand for prime minister.

He is expected to appeal against the conviction of inflating the price of distribution rights bought by his Mediaset group to avoid paying taxes.

The media mogul has also been barred from holding office for five years.

“There will be consequences,” Silvio Berlusconi said in an interview given on Saturday to TG5, one of the TV channels owned by Mediaset.

“I feel obliged to stay in the field,” he added.

Silvio Berlusconi went on to dismiss the case against him as “science fiction”.

On Wednesday, he said he would not to run again for office – confining himself to “giving advice, experience, speaking and judging without intruding”.

Silvio Berlusconi has said he feels "obliged" to stay in politics, a day after receiving a jail term for tax fraud

Silvio Berlusconi has said he feels “obliged” to stay in politics, a day after receiving a jail term for tax fraud

Silvio Berlusconi’s lawyers said on Friday that he would appeal against the four-year jail sentence for tax fraud, according to media reports.

The appeal will be lodged by 10 November, reports said, and could take several years.

A furious Silvio Berlusconi went on national television on Friday to condemn the sentence as “intolerable judicial harassment”.

He has long complained that he is being persecuted by left-leaning judges in Milan.

“It is a political, incredible and intolerable judgement,” Silvio Berlusconi said on Italia 1 – another one of the TV stations he owns.

Silvio Berlusconi has faced a number of trials.

He has in the past either been cleared, or cases have run beyond the judicial time limit.

In 1997 Silvio Berlusconi received a suspended sentence for false book-keeping but that conviction was reversed on appeal.

In the latest case, prosecutors said that part of the money declared for the purchase of US film rights was skimmed off to create illegal slush funds, reducing tax liabilities for Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset group.

The court handed Silvio Berlusconi a longer sentence than the three years and eight months requested by prosecutors. However, it later announced that the sentence served would be one year due to a 2006 amnesty law aimed at reducing prison overcrowding.

It ordered him and his co-defendants to pay 10 million euros in damages.

Both the jail term and the ban from holding office will only take effect if the sentence is upheld by a higher court.

Silvio Berlusconi is unlikely ever to serve his sentence as the conviction first has to be confirmed by two successive courts of appeal.

Those appeals could take years, he adds.

In February a court threw out a corruption case against him after the statute of limitations had expired.

He is also currently on trial charged with paying for sex with an underage girl and trying to cover it up. He denies any wrongdoing.

Silvio Berlusconi, 76, was forced to resign as prime minister of a centre-right coalition last November.

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