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Italian Premier Gentiloni wins second vote of confidence

Italy’s parliament on Wednesday endorsed a new government tipped to be so short-lived that its inauguration was seen as the start of battle for the next election.

world Updated: Dec 14, 2016 21:36 IST
Italy,Paolo Gentiloni,Matteo Renzi
Newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni speaks before a confidence vote at the Senate in Rome, Italy December 14, 2016.(REUTERS Photo)

Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni has won a second vote of confidence in Parliament, paving the way for his government to lead Italy until new elections, after his predecessor was humiliated at the polls over proposed reforms.

The Senate voted 169-99 Wednesday, a day after the confidence measure easily passed parliament’s lower chamber.

Gentiloni now heads to the first major international meeting of his premiership — Thursday’s European Council summit — with Parliament’s backing and his government in place.

That completed a required parliamentary approval process that was boycotted by some opposition parties which claim the government has no legitimacy in light of the referendum defeat.

Gentiloni has been slammed for naming a new line-up that is virtually a carbon copy of the team that served Renzi.

Italy’s biggest opposition party, the populist Five Star Movement (M5S), led the boycott

Gentiloni has said his priorities are to spur economic growth in Italy’s south, rebuild Italy’s earthquake-devastated center, and help lawmakers craft a new electoral law quoted as saying by La Repubblica.

Business as usual

Gentiloni, 62, whose measured, softly-spoken manner is in sharp contrast to Renzi’s more frenetic style, is due to attend a summit of EU leaders on Thursday.

He has said he will use the Brussels meeting to reiterate Italy’s demands for more support on dealing with the arrival of tens of thousands of migrants on its southern shores and for greater leeway on the application of budget rules.

The new leader has reshuffled Renzi’s cabinet slightly with former interior minister Angelino Alfano taking over as foreign minister and created a new ministry to promote the economic development of the relatively impoverished south of the country.

Otherwise, it is business as usual on domestic matters: to the delight of the opposition.

First Published: Dec 14, 2016 21:36 IST