Italian president Giorgio Napolitano has finished his round of talks on the viability of Matteo Renzi forming a government.
Although the path has been cleared for Renzi to become the country’s youngest ever prime minister, the speed of the transition looks like it will be slower than expected.
Due to the pace of the president’s meetings, it was believed Renzi could receive the go-ahead before the end of the weekend, but Napolitano signalled that more time is needed, saying: “I thought that it was necessary to accelerate the consultations in order to give the person who will have to form the government more space and more serenity to take the next step. That person needs enough time for his consultation and insights and political alliances.”
The pace has been slowed down by Angelino Alfano, leader of the current coalition partners the New Centre Right party. He wants to put together an agreed-upon programme.
Renzi, 39, is Mayor of Florence and the head of ex-prime minister Enrico Letta’s Democratic Party.
Even if he agrees a coalition, Renzi would still need to get his government past a confidence vote in parliament.