Who is Matteo Renzi?

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Who is Matteo Renzi?

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Little is known outside Italy about Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi – the man widely tipped to become Italy’s next prime minister.

Renzi, 39, became mayor of Florence, the city of his birth, in 2009. Before that, he was President of Florence province for five years.

In December 2013, he was elected Secretary of the Democratic Party (PD) with 68 percent of the vote.

Some saw echoes of Barack Obama in the way Renzi pushed for change during his primary campaign.

“I want a Left that governs Italy rather than a Left that prides itself on its defeats,” was Renzi’s battle cry.

He secured a strong majority. But he took the reigns of the PD against the will of several party heavyweights who had never considered him one of them.

He has been dubbed the ‘Tony Blair’ of Italian politics – ready to shake up and re-energise the Left.

Renzi has been criticised, however, for being woolly on national policy. He has not so far gone public with any plans for how to turn around Italy’s economy or combat record unemployment.

Analyst: Will Matteo Renzi succeed? Yes