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Italy’s gamble on Matteo Renzi

Introducing himself as a “different” politician, an outsider, Renzi is committed to break "the power of the old guard"

Italy’s gamble on Matteo Renzi

Claudia Astarita

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"Italy is about to gamble. It is placing its bet on youth, on style, on energy. And on the unknown": here is how the BBC commented on Italian choice to ask the 39 years old Matteo Renzi to sworn in as Prime Minister.

The BBC is not the only broadcaster introducing Renzi as "an American-style politician with an easy smile, [crackling] with energy and vaulting ambition". Some even call him "the Italian Tony Blair", implying he is a "pragmatic centre-left politician with little use for ideology".

Introducing himself as a "different" politician, an outsider (even though he is in love with politics since he was a teenager and he was until a few hours ago the mayor of Florence), since when he started tangling with Italian "big politics", he is promising he would have been the one breaking "the power of the old guard, of the political caste, of those often invisible networks that still influence so much in Italy".

According to the BBC, "his appointment could be an Italian revolution. His strength is drawn almost exclusively from his personality. He embodies change, and for many Italians that is enough". Indeed, although he will be the third prime minister appointed by President Napolitano without having won an election, Matteo Renzi seems determined to maintain the support of Italian people by rapidly implementing an incredibly ambitious reform plan.

Actually, it is a matter of fact that if Renzi wants to be successful without a proper popular mandate, he will have to keep his current popular support, as this is the only way he will be able to bargain in the political arena to get the approval for reforms.

Matteo Renzi already promised that during his first few months in office, he will push through economic and electoral reforms, stressing he is ready to "this commitment all the energy I have". As several newspapers already pointed out, "if he fails, it could usher in a bitter election and fears of social unrest". And now everybody wants to know what is going to happen.

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