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Italy's youngest-ever PM Renzi sworn in

Italy's youngest-ever prime minister Matteo Renzi and his fresh-faced cabinet were sworn in Saturday, amid widespread scepticism that the new government has the political maturity to tackle the country's formidable challenges. The 39-year-old former mayor of Florence was accompanied by his wife and three children -- dressed in the colours of the Italian flag -- to the formal ceremony at the presidential palace, and smiled widely as he watched his new team sworn in by President Giorgio Napolitano.

Italy's youngest-ever PM Renzi sworn in

Italy's youngest-ever prime minister Matteo Renzi and his fresh-faced cabinet were sworn in Saturday, amid widespread scepticism that the new government has the political maturity to tackle the country's formidable challenges. The former mayor of Florence was accompanied by his wife and three children -- dressed in the colours of the Italian flag -- to the formal ceremony in Italy's presidential palace, and smiled widely as he watched his new team sworn in by President Giorgio Napolitano.

Renzi set to become Italy's youngest prime minister

By Paolo Biondi and Steve Scherer ROME (Reuters) - Center-left leader Matteo Renzi was set to be nominated as Italy's youngest prime minister in a matter of days after a party coup forced Enrico Letta to resign as premier of the euro zone state struggling to pull out of recession. Letta bowed out on Friday after his Democratic Party (PD) forced him to step aside and make way for Renzi, 39, who is promising bold economic reforms and a government than can survive until 2018.

Italy's Berlusconi opts for wrinkles in new image switch

ROME (Reuters) - Former premier Silvio Berlusconi, famed for his face lifts and hair implants, has opted for a sharp image change in reaction to the rise of younger rival Matteo Renzi, agreeing to be shown wrinkled and without make-up by a UK newspaper on Sunday. The Sunday Times carried a portrait of 77-year-old center-right leader entitled "Silvio Berlusconi after the fall" by photographer Paul Stuart on the front page of its colour supplement. Major Italian newspapers reproduced the Sunday Times cover.

News Analysis: Italian gov't path more cohesive on reforms, Europe after winning third confidence vote

by Alessandra Cardone ROME, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta won a confidence vote in parliament on Wednesday, laying out a plan of reforms that would include a new electoral law and political and institutional changes aimed at giving political stability and economic growth to the country.

Italy president says confidence vote will test government's majority

ROME (Reuters) - A confidence vote on Italy's 2014 budget will establish whether there is a parliamentary majority to support the government going forward, the Italian president said on Tuesday, after Silvio Berlusconi's party broke with the ruling coalition.

Italian Senate to vote on Berlusconi expulsion on Nov 27

By Roberto Landucci ROME (Reuters) - Italian Senators will vote on November 27 on whether to expel center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi from parliament over a conviction for tax fraud, officials said on Tuesday. The vote has the potential to trigger a new crisis for Prime Minister Enrico Letta's fragile ruling coalition of left and right, given Berlusconi's repeated threats to pull his People of Freedom (PDL) group out of the government if Letta's center-left Democratic Party (PD) votes for his expulsion.

Berlusconi faces new trial for bribing senator

An Italian judge on Wednesday ordered Silvio Berlusconi to stand trial for allegedly bribing a senator to join his party's ranks, in the latest legal woe for the former prime minister. Berlusconi was formally charged along with his former associate, Valter Lavitola, who is accused of acting as an intermediary in the 3.0-million euro ($4.0-million) bribe, lawyers said. The senator himself, Sergio De Gregorio, helped investigators and was granted a 20-month sentence under a plea bargain by the hearing in Naples. The trial is due to start on February 11, 2014.

Berlusconi faces new trial for bribing senator

An Italian judge on Wednesday ordered Silvio Berlusconi to stand trial for allegedly bribing a senator to join his party's ranks, in the latest legal woe for the former prime minister. Berlusconi was formally charged along with his former associate, Valter Lavitola, who is accused by prosecutors of acting as an intermediary in the 3.0-million euro ($4.0-million) bribe. The senator, Sergio De Gregorio, himself helped investigators and was granted a 20-month sentence under a plea bargain by the hearing in Naples.

Italy's Monti quits party as budget opposition mounts

By Gavin Jones ROME (Reuters) - Former Prime Minister Mario Monti on Thursday left the party he founded this year as political tensions over Italy's 2014 budget raised a new threat to the stability of Enrico Letta's government. Monti said he was quitting because a group of senators from his centrist Civic Choice party, which is part of the ruling coalition, rejected his criticism of the budget thus undermining his leadership of the party.
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