STORY HIGHLIGHTS


Renzi asked to be new Italian pm

CNC
Added On February 18, 2014

 Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has asked Florence mayor Matteo Renzi to form a new government.

Renzi has promised rapid tax, labor and institutional reforms to revive the country's crisis-plagued economy.
 
Renzi, the leader of the center-left Democratic Party, received a mandate on Monday to form a new government.
 
He announced his commitment and determination and the need for urgency in reforms.
 
SOUNDBITE (ITALIAN) MATTEO RENZI, Florence mayor:
"I received the assignment to try to form a new government from the President of the Republic, and I accepted with reserve as to the responsibility and importance of this challenge."
 
He says his priorities would be constitutional changes, labor changes and improvements to bureaucracy.
 
STANDUP (ENGLISH) ZONG BEILEI, CNC Correspondent:
"Italy has been desperate for political change and the Florence mayor’s youth and energy, and his talk of the need for sweeping reform, have propelled him to the center of the national stage. Renzi has attracted widespread backing, despite his relative lack of experience. Though he is supported by many entrepreneurs, there are still reservations within the country and the European Union."
 
Renzi needs to seal a formal coalition deal with the small center-right NCD party to secure a majority and name his cabinet, but will probably seek a vote of confidence in parliament later this week.
 
39-year-old Renzi has never been elected to parliament and never served in a national government. 
 
Last week, he called a meeting of the Democratic Party leadership to oust his rival Enrico Letta, the previous prime minister.
 
Letta, who served as Prime Minister for just 10 months, is considered responsible for the country's slow pace of economic reforms.