Italian PM Letta to resign after party withdraws support

by
February 14, 2014

ROME | Italian centre-left leader Matteo Renzi forced party rival Enrico Letta to resign as prime minister on Thursday after criticizing his government’s failure to pass major reforms, opening the way for Italy’s third administration in a year.

Letta’s decision to quit came after the Democratic Party (PD), the largest party in the ruling coalition, supported a call by its 39-year-old leader Renzi for a more ambitious government to pull Italy out of its economic slump.

“Italy cannot live in a situation of uncertainty and instability. We are at a crossroads,” Renzi told a meeting of the PD’s 140-strong leadership committee.

Letta plans to tender his resignation to President Giorgio Napolitano on Friday. Napolitano is then expected to call on Renzi to form a new administration.

Before that happens, however, there is likely to be considerable horsetrading.

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