Renzi moves ahead to form Italy’s next government

Renzi to prepare his list of ministers

Matteo Renzi is now confident that he can form a government and will present his list of ministers to Italy’s president, Giorgio Napolitano, on Saturday before presenting his programme to parliament on Monday.

After conversations with the leaders of the main political parties Renzi is assured that his government will have the same parliamentary support as the previous one under Enrico Letta – that of his own party the Partito Democratico (PD) and of the Nuovo Centrodestra (NCD) led by Angelino Alfano, once the right-hand man of ex-prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi.

Berlusconi, who is excluded from holding public office because of a conviction in 2013 for tax evasion and fraud, has confirmed that his party, Forza Italia (FI), will remain in opposition but will support many of Renzi’s proposals, such as those to reform parliament and the judiciary.

Renzi’s meeting with Beppe Grillo, the head of the populist Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S), which gained 25 per cent of the vote in the last general election in February 2013, failed to find any common ground.

With a parliamentary majority now in the bag, two subjects remain on Renzi’s shopping list – the economy and foreign policy. Italy’s economy is still in stall and in serious need of inspiring confidence abroad. And in July 2014 Italy takes over the presidency of the Council of Europe.

Renzi, the 39-year old mayor of Florence, has no experience of either economic or foreign policy. His choice of ministers to these key areas will be watched closely abroad.