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Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta says he will not resign, and has published his programme for the next four years, his “Commitment for Italy”, but will he get that time to implement it?

In fact Italy may be lurching into another political crisis as plots are afoot to undermine Letta, especially from his arch-rival the mayor of Florence. But Letta has had enough.

“A resignation can’t be based on rumours or backstage manoeuvres. I think if you respect the institutions you must clearly say what you want to do. Especially those who want to replace me must present a programme to the Italians,” he insisted.

The unelected Letta is attempting to stay above party politics and convince Italians his neutral detachment is what the country needs.

But it seems many are falling under the charm of the ambitious leader of the Democratic Party Matteo Renzi. From his Florence power base he is building momentum and seems prepared to cast his net wide; he has held talks with Silvio Berlusconi over electoral law reform, for example.

The former prime minister’s shadow still hangs over Italy’s politics, which after such a long period of domination by one man, is now in flux, a vacuum just waiting to be filled.

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