Italian President mandates Foreign Minister to serve as PM

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Rome, Dec 11 (IANS) Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Sunday asked outgoing Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni to serve as the new Prime Minister of a new transitional government.

Gentiloni was summoned to the Quirinale presidential palace earlier and he was officially given the mandate to form a new government, after the resignation of Matteo Renzi as Prime Minister of the previous government, Xinhua news agency reported.

Renzi stepped down on December 7, after suffering a defeat in a crucial referendum on constitutional reform on December 4.

“The broad framework of political consultations (with all party leaders) carried out by President Mattarella will be the basis of my efforts to define composition and program of the new government,” Gentiloni told a press conference.

The decision would mark a swift solution of the political crisis triggered by Renzi’s resignation.

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Having accepted the mandate, Gentiloni will now consult with other political forces in order to draw a list of new ministers as soon as possible.

“Consultations showed the unwillingness of major opposition forces to share responsibilities in a new government. Therefore, we will move within the framework of the outgoing government and majority,” Gentiloni said.

Gentiloni, 62, is considered a staunch ally of Matteo Renzi and both of them belong to the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), the largest force in the parliament.

A former journalist, Gentiloni had served as Foreign Minister in Renzi’s cabinet since October 2014.



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