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Renzi Gambles on Reforming Italy Where Letta Failed

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The transformations that took place in the Italian political system during the past few months produced an outcome that few observers were expecting. On Feb. 14, Enrico Letta resigned his post as prime minister after having lost the support of his party, the center-left Democratic Party (PD). A few days later, Matteo Renzi, the recently elected PD leader, formed a new government backed by the same parliamentary majority that had supported Letta.

How can we explain this puzzling reshuffle, and where is it likely to lead? A modernizer with cross-party appeal, the 39-year-old Renzi has long been considered the key emerging figure in Italian politics. After being elected to the PD leadership in December, Renzi started strongly advocating a more forceful course of action by the Letta government. ...

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