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Italy steps from having youngest-ever prime minister

Friday, February 14, 2014 - 01:38

Feb. 14 - Prime Minister Enrico Letta tenders his resignation to President Giorgio Napolitano, as Matteo Renzi prepares to become the country's youngest-ever to assume the position. Gavino Garay reports.

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A changing of the guard in Italy. Thirty-nine-year-old Matteo Renzi is expected to become the country's youngest-ever prime minister. This comes after he joined the rest of the Democratic Party leadership voting to remove the Prime Minister, saying he didn't do enough to pull the country out of the worst recession since World War Two. Meanwhile on Friday, a rather modest vehicle for a prime minister pulls into the Presidential Palace. It's Enrico Letta, and he's here to hand his resignation to the president. Italians have mixed reactions. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) ROME RESIDENT MASSIMO CANDINI SAYING: "Most Italians will not understand this so-called relay. It's clear that Letta's government wasn't very fast in implementing reforms and got a bit stuck but I don't know about this change of guard. Now we'll need to see if Renzi will be able to accelerate the indispensable reforms that are necessary, there seems to be too much talk and not enough action, there's a lot of game-playing." (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) MARKET STALL VENDOR ANNA CECCHINELLI SAYING: "I am of the opinion that it is up to the people to change the things, I don't trust these leaders who come out of nowhere, absolutely not." (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) HAT VENDOR GIULIA DI PAOLO SAYING: "I don't know what will happen now, only they know. I don't like Renzi, he seems like Berlusconi 2." If appointed prime minister by the president, Renzi would be the third in a row to be appointed without winning an election. But it certainly wouldn't be smooth sailing. While Renzi may be an advocate for bold reforms to spur economic growth, he may find that the European Union was fond of Letta's strict adherence to the bloc's budget rules. A new prime minister could be named as early as this weekend.

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Italy steps from having youngest-ever prime minister

Friday, February 14, 2014 - 01:38