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Italy’s New Prime Minister: A Young Man in a Hurry

By Stizzard
Italy’s new prime minister: A young man in a hurry

BY ANY standards, what happened on February 17th in the Quirinal Palace, the official residence of Italy’s head of state in Rome, was pretty startling. On one chair sat a 39-year-old local politician with no experience of parliament, let alone of the cabinet. On the other was the country’s 89-year-old president, Giorgio Napolitano. After more than an hour of discussions, Mr Napolitano invited the young mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, to form Italy’s next government.Mr Renzi left to announce that he intended to transform Italy during his first 100 days in office. On the assumption that he can put together a programme and a ministerial team that wins the backing of both chambers of the Italian parliament, he plans to initiate a two-pronged constitutional reform by the end of February; to bring in a new employment law during March; to streamline the public administration in April; and to overhaul the system of taxation in May (while at the same time pushing through a new electoral law). All this in a country where, according to the World Bank, it takes longer to get a fresh connection to the electricity supply than it does in Kazakhstan.Not since Silvio Berlusconi (…

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