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Matteo Renzi appointed as Italy's youngest ever prime minister

17 February, 2014

Matteo Renzi outlined an ambitious plan for Italy on Monday as he was appointed the country's new prime minister, vowing to urgently pursue far-reaching financial and political reforms in his first few months in office.

Mr Renzi was summoned to the Quirinale, the presidential palace, following the resignation of Enrico Letta on Friday and will spend the next few days seeking to form a coalition and fill key cabinet positions after facing rejections from several candidates at the weekend.

Despite the political and economic turmoil of recent years, Renzi has said a new government could last till 2018.

Renzi is named prime minister, and he will be Italy’s third unelected leader in succession after the technocrat Mario Monti and then Letta.

The last prime minister who won an election was Silvio Berlusconi, who stood down in 2011 after losing his parliamentary majority.

All this comes with the Italian economy in the doldrums. Unemployment is at its highest level in 40 years and the economy has shrunk by nine percent in seven years.