Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi has completed his first day at the helm of Italy’s six month EU presidency.
Despite achieving a spectacular victory in May’s European elections he faces serious challenges from many of his countrymen like eurosceptic Beppe Grillo.
The leader of the Five Star Movement was in Strasbourg alongside other members of the anti-EU group for the first session of the new European Parliament.
Asked along with UKIP leader Nigel Farage about whether they were ready for the Europe of Renzi Grillo said that they “want to change the world and have a wonderful vision.” He added that he had “no interest in looking to the past.”
Matteo Renzi will make his first formal speech as the head of Italy’s EU presidency on Wednesday.
“The next six months is an opportunity for Beppe Grillo and Matteo Renzi to go head to head on issues away from home. Grillo has said he doesn’t want to speak with the Italian prime minister at the European Parliament but instead would prefer to deal directly with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President-designate Jean Claude Juncker,” said euronews correspondent in Strasbourg, Margherita Sforza.