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Italian President Names Paolo Gentiloni as New PM

  • VOA News

Italy's Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni talks to reporters after receiving a mandate to try to form the country's new government, at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, Dec. 11, 2016.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella chose Paolo Gentiloni to form a new government after reformist leader Matteo Renzi lost a referendum on constitutional reform, on which he had staked his job.

Gentiloni is expected to hold the post until February 2018 elections. After the announcement, he vowed to move “within the same framework” as Renzi’s outgoing government.

“Not by choice, but out of a sense of responsibility I will be forming a government based on the outgoing majority,” Gentiloni said.

Reports said the new government leader is expected to introduce a list of ministers to Mattarella by early Monday.

The 62-year-old member of the Democratic Party, close Renzi ally, and former journalist said in a brief statement there is an “urgent need for a fully functioning government” in order to focus on social and economic issues.

All major parties have called for elections as soon as possible, but the proposal was rejected by the Italian president.

Renzi was prime minister for almost three years. He resigned after voters rejected a package to increase his power to push through economic reforms he said would bring political stability in Italy.

FILE: Matteo Renzi speaks during a media conference after a referendum on constitutional reform at Chigi palace in Rome, Dec. 5, 2016.
FILE: Matteo Renzi speaks during a media conference after a referendum on constitutional reform at Chigi palace in Rome, Dec. 5, 2016.

While economic and political factors drove voters to punish Renzi, analysts say Italy’s migrant crisis also played a role and the issue is likely to feature in forthcoming election campaigns.

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