Official consultations begin today as the Italian centre-left leader Matteo Renzi begins his uphill struggle to try and form a government.
He needs to make a deal with the small centre-right NCD party to secure a parliamentary majority and name his cabinet.
That means coming up with a programme acceptable to widely differing political outlooks.
La Repubblica journalist Curzio Maltess was asked if he thought Renzi would still be able to achieve what he wanted to do.
“I think he (Matteo Renzi) will bring in new electoral laws and make some cuts in the running of the political system which are very popular. But these are reforms that will not change the lives of millions of Italian families. I believe that he will not be in a position to change the economy as was also the case with Monti and Letta, except perhaps in controlling Italy’s public debt.”
Italy is taking a gamble. It is placing a bet on an untested 39-year-old with style and energy who has promised change and must now deliver.
“Hope never dies,” said one Rome resident. “But I do not expect much because Renzi will not get the majority he needs.”
But others appeared to be more up-beat about the ‘new kid on the block’ : “I expect what everybody else expects: that he solves people’s problems: create jobs, give us some sense of well-being.”
Renzi rhetoric includes creating jobs, cutting taxes and slashing bureaucracy. But if he gets a majority he will still be faced with having to deal with an unwieldy coalition.