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Italy's new prime minister wins confidence vote staving off political turmoil


Italy

Italy's new prime minister wins confidence vote staving off political turmoil

Italy’s caretaker prime minister Paolo Gentiloni has won the backing of the Senate in a confidence vote allowing his government to take office, turning the political turmoil down from boil to simmer.

The ex-foreign minister has promised to push ahead with former leader Matteo Renzi’s reform drive, but one of his major tasks is the passing of a new electoral law. It must be agreed upon before national elections can be held. In a speech, Gentiloni said he would seek cross-party consensus on the law.

However, many senators from the opposing parties left the chamber before he spoke in protest over the cabinet line-up being a virtual carbon copy of the previous administration.

Matteo Renzi stepped down after a crushing defeat of his reforms in a constitutional referendum, and many of his ministers have posts in the new government. Analysts say that Gentiloni was chosen as a trusted figure to keep Renzi’s seat warm ahead of fresh elections, which could come early next year.