Position: Prime Minister
Incumbent: Matteo Renzi
Date of Birth: Jan. 11 1975
Term: Appointed February 2014
- Italy's youngest prime minister, Matteo Renzi built a strong
political profile as mayor of the city of Florence before
winning the leadership of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD),
overcoming opposition from the left of the party. A commanding
presence on television, he speaks rapidly with a marked Tuscan
- He became prime minister after forcing his party rival Enrico
Letta to resign with repeated attacks on the government's slow
progress on economic reform that persuaded the PD leadership to
withdraw its backing.
- He is the third prime minister in succession to be appointed
without an election victory and leads the same cross-party
coalition as his predecessor Letta. While there is no
constitutional requirement for a premier to be elected, he has
faced criticism after going back on pledges not to seek office
without a mandate from voters.
- Ambitious about shaking up hidebound structures he says have
held Italy back, he has promised sweeping reforms to help pull
the economy out of decades of decline and overhaul a
constitutional system blamed for preventing stable government.
- A former boy scout who began his career in youth politics in
the old Christian Democratic party, Renzi is an admirer of U.S.
President Barack Obama. He has limited international and
European experience but his rapid rise has attracted close
attention outside Italy, meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel
on her request last year, even before he became PD leader.