Renzi sworn in as new Italian prime minister

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Renzi sworn in as new Italian prime minister

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Italy rang the changes on Saturday when the country’s youngest ever prime minister Matteo Renzi and his new cabinet were sworn in marking a new and ambitious era for the financially-troubled nation.

The swearing in ceremony took place one week after Renzi toppled Enrico Letta’s government in an intra-party dispute.

The 39-year old’s 16-member cabinet is one of the smallest and with an average age of 48 the youngest in recent Italian history.

With half of the ministers being women it also underlines the image of a fresh start on which Renzi has built his reputation.

Federica Mogherini is the second woman in a row to be foreign minister after outgoing Emma Bonino, while Roberta Pinotti becomes the first woman to hold the job of defence minister.

Renzi is the third prime minister to reach office without winning an election.

And among the major concerns for many Italians are the lack of a mandate from voters and lack of experience within the cabinet.

One passerby said: “There’s change in the air, but how can I say, experience is often quoted as a fundamental ingredient for success, many of these ministers have no experience. This doesn’t mean we need to condemn them in advance. But let’s see if they are able to win the confidence of the electors in the field.”

The first tests for Mr. Renzi’s new government will be a vote of confidence in the Senate, scheduled for Monday, while another will follow on Tuesday in the Lower House.