Destinations Magazine

Italy’s President: Matteo Gets His Man

By Stizzard
Italy’s president: Matteo gets his man

SERGIO MATTARELLA, a 73-year-old Sicilian, constitutional-court judge and former government minister, became Italy’s 12th president on February 3rd. Matteo Renzi, the prime minister who backed him, said his election would “turbocharge” his reforms. Mr Renzi (shown above with Mr Mattarella) is prone to exaggeration: he faces a long, hard climb. But he has again shown formidable political skills.When the 89-year-old Giorgio Napolitano stepped down in mid-January, Mr Renzi promised a successor by the end of the month. That he delivered was no mean feat. Mr Napolitano agreed in 2013 to serve a second term only because parliament could not agree on his successor. This time Mr Renzi managed to unite his fractured Democratic Party (PD) behind Mr Mattarella, and secure the backing of the opposition Left, Ecology and Freedom party and of Angelino Alfano, his interior minister, who leads the New Centre Right party. That was enough: after three days of voting in which no candidate won a two-thirds majority, Mr Mattarella was elected on the fourth round, which required a simple majority, by 665 votes out of 1,009.Silvio Berlusconi, leader of Forza Italia, the main right-wing…

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