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Italy's Letta resigns as PM, paving way for Renzi


Saturday, 15 February 2014   09:50:17

Italy's Letta resigns as PM, paving way for Renzi

    ROME, Feb 14, (APP/AFP) - Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta
resigned Friday in a fast-paced political drama in Rome that paves the
way for 39-year-old centre-left leader Matteo Renzi to take his place.
    Financial markets cheered as Letta submitted his resignation
to President Giorgio Napolitano after just 10 tumultuous months at the
head of a fragile coalition with the centre-right in which he struggled
with a rampant economic crisis.
    Napolitano on Friday will now begin consultations with political
leaders to pick a nominee to replace Letta, which the presidency said
would conclude on Saturday.
    Letta was forced to announce his resignation on Thursday after
his own Democratic Party overwhelmingly backed a motion by its new
leader Renzi calling for a new government.
    On Friday he "submitted the irrevocable resignation of the
executive that he presides," the presidency said.
    It added that Napolitano would move swiftly to find an
"efficient solution" to the political crisis and move on with economic
and "urgent" election law reforms.
    The outgoing premier smiled as he arrived at the presidential
palace and thanked his supporters in a tweet after losing in the
showdown with Renzi.