Renzi Gambles on Reforming Italy Where Letta Failed

Renzi Gambles on Reforming Italy Where Letta Failed

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.

Most importantly, Renzi took on the crucial task of brokering an accord for a new electoral law, as the Italian Constitutional Court had invalidated the previous system. In a move that proved controversial, Renzi sought an agreement on the electoral law with former center-right Premier Silvio Berlusconi, who, despite having been convicted of tax fraud and voted out of Parliament, still acts as the leader of Forza Italia, the main center-right party. Forza Italia was—and still is—in opposition, yet Renzi argued that for the electoral law to succeed, it needed the broadest possible agreement. After frantic negotiations, the two leaders struck a deal at the end of January.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review