Paolo Gentiloni named new Italy prime minister

Gentiloni will form a new government that will guide Italy to elections due by February 2018


Afp December 11, 2016
Italy's newly named Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni holds a press conference in Rome on December 11, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

ROME: Paolo Gentiloni was named Sunday as Italy's new prime minister following reformist leader Matteo Renzi's resignation in the wake of a crushing referendum defeat.

Gentiloni, who had been Renzi's foreign minister, was asked by President Sergio Mattarella to form a new government that will guide Italy to elections due by February 2018, a presidency spokesperson announced.

Gentiloni, 62, is seen as a close ally of Renzi who is unlikely to get in the way of the outgoing premier's plans for a political comeback.

Renzi falls as swiftly as he rose

Gentiloni now has to put together his own government line up which is expected to be put to a parliamentary confidence vote on Wednesday.

Mattarella had vowed Saturday to move quickly to fill the void created by Renzi's departure, saying the country urgently needed a new administration to handle a string of pressing problems.

Chief among those is a looming crisis in the troubled banking sector and ongoing relief efforts after a series of deadly earthquakes between August and October.

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