Matteo Renzi

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Matteo Renzi
Matteo Renzi crop new.png
56th Prime Minister of Italy
Assumed office
22 February 2014
President Giorgio Napolitano
Preceded by Enrico Letta
Secretary of the Democratic Party
Assumed office
15 December 2013
Preceded by Guglielmo Epifani
Mayor of Florence
In office
22 June 2009 – 24 March 2014
Preceded by Leonardo Domenici
Succeeded by Dario Nardella
President of Florence Province
In office
14 June 2004 – 22 June 2009
Preceded by Michele Gesualdi
Succeeded by Andrea Barducci
Personal details
Born (1975-01-11) 11 January 1975 (age 39)
Florence, Italy
Political party Democratic Party (2007–present)
The Daisy (2002–2007)
People's Party (1996–2002)
Spouse(s) Agnese Landini
Children Francesco
Alma mater University of Florence
Religion Roman Catholicism

Matteo Renzi (Italian pronunciation: [matˈtɛo ˈrɛntsi]; born 11 January 1975) is an Italian politician who has been the Prime Minister of Italy since 22 February 2014 and the Secretary of the Democratic Party since 2013.[1][2][3][4] He was previously the President of Florence Province from 2004 to 2009 and the Mayor of Florence from 2009 to 2014. On 17 February 2014 he was asked by President Giorgio Napolitano to form a new government, which he presented on 21 February. He is the youngest person ever to be Prime Minister of Italy since unification in 1861 and the first to lead a government serving as a Mayor instead of a Member of Parliament.[5]

Early life and career[edit]

Renzi announcing the formation of his new government.

Renzi was born in Florence, Italy, on 11 January 1975; his father was a municipal councilors of Rignano sull'Arno for the Christian Democracy.[6] Renzi graduated in law from the University of Florence in 1999. He joined the Italian People's Party in 1996, and became its Provincial Secretary in 1999. In the same year he married Angese Landini, with whom he had three children. He was later elected as the President of the Province of Florence in 2004, winning 59% of the vote in the elections of 12 June 2004, as the candidate of the centre-left coalition.

After five years as the President of the Province Florence, Matteo Renzi announced that he would attempt to become the Mayor of Florence. On 9 June 2009, Renzi, by now a member of the Democratic Party, won the mayoral election with 48% of the vote, compared to 32% for Giovanni Galli.[7] His achievements as Mayor included halving the number of city councillors, installing 500 free WiFi access points across the city, reducing kindergarten waiting lists by 90% and investing in social welfare and schools.[8]

One year after being sworn in as Mayor, and with his popularity in national opinion polls increasing, Renzi organised a public meeting in Florence at Leopolda Station to discuss Italian politics, after stating that a complete change was also necessary in his party. Following this event, the Italian media gave him the nickname "il Rottamatore", or "The Scrapper". In 2011, he organized a second such meeting in Florence, where he wrote down one hundred points to discuss. At the same time as this, he was strongly criticized by certain members of his own party after his suggestion that Italian politicians who were of the same generation as Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi should retire.

In September 2012, Renzi announced that he would seek to lead the centre-left coalition in the 2013 general election. He lost the December election, finishing second with 39% of the vote, compared to 61% for the winner Pier Luigi Bersani.[9]

Party Secretary[edit]

Following the resignation of Pier Luigi Bersani in April 2013, Matteo Renzi stood for the position of Secretary of the Democratic Party, proving successful. In the December primary election, Renzi was elected with 68% of the popular vote, compared to the 18% of Gianni Cuperlo and 14% of Giuseppe Civati. He therefore became the new Secretary of the Democratic Party and the centre-left's prospective candidate for Prime Minister of Italy.

Throughout January and February 2014 there were many reports of persistent leadership tensions between Renzi and Prime Minister Enrico Letta, who had been the Deputy Secretary under Bersani, with many claiming that Renzi was pressuring Letta to resign in his favour. On 12 February, Letta publicly called on Renzi to make his position clear, and Renzi subsequently called a meeting of the Democratic Party leadership for the following evening. Just before the meeting took place, Renzi publicly called on Letta to resign and allow him to form a new government.[10] Letta initially resisted this call, but following a vote in the meeting on Renzi's proposal, which Letta did not attend, he announced that he would tender his resignation as Prime Minister to President Giorgio Napolitano on 14 February.[11]

Prime Minister[edit]

Following the resignation of Enrico Letta, Renzi formally received the task of forming a new government from President Giorgio Napolitano on 17 February 2014.[12] Renzi held several days of talks with party leaders, which he broadcast live on the internet, before unveiled his Cabinet on 21 February, which contained members of his Democratic Party, the New Centre-Right, the Union of the Centre and Civic Choice. The following day he was sworn in as Prime Minister, becoming the youngest Prime Minister in the history of Italy.[13] His rise to become Prime Minister was widely seen as a sign of much-needed generational change, and at the time he took office he enjoyed by far the highest approval rating of any politician in the country.[14]

On 11 March, the Chamber of Deputies approved Renzi's flagship electoral reform law that would see Italy's voting system overhauled and also significantly reform the Italian Senate.[15] Several days later he approved the auctioning of a large number of luxury cars that were used to transport heads of state, as he felt they were an unnecessary use of government money. The cars included nine Maseratis, two Jaguars, and various other cars such as BMWs and Alfa Romeos. Out of the 1500 cars put up for sale, 170 sold immediately over eBay.[16] In April, as part of his industrial reforms, Renzi forced the chief executives of Italy's biggest state-owned companies, including Eni, Enel and Poste Italiane, to resign.[17] He subsequently appointed women to the majority of new positions, making it the first time any woman had served as a chief executive of a state-owned company.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Matteo Renzi is married to a teacher, Agnese Landini, with whom he has two sons, Francesco and Emanuele, and a daughter, Ester.[19]


  1. ^ City of Florence
  2. ^ "Elezioni Comunali Turno di ballottaggio 21–22 giugno 2009" (in Italian). Comune di Firenze. 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Roe, Alex. "Matteo Renzi takes Florence". Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  4. ^ "Italy to swear in new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi". BBC News. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  5. ^ At the age of 39 years and one month, he took this record from Benito Mussolini who had entered in office at the age of 39 years and three months.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Center-Left Candidate Matteo Renzi holds 47.6% of the Vote to Giovanni Galli's 32% two weeks before ballotaggio". The Florence Newspaper. 9 June 2009. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Aresu, Alessandro; Andrea Garnero (December 2012). "Why Italy matters?". Los Pazio della Politica. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  10. ^ Willey, David (13 February 2014). "Italy PM Letta's rival Renzi calls for new government". BBC News. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Willey, David (14 February 2014). "Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta resigns". BBC. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "39 Year Old Matteo Renzi becomes, at 39, Youngest Italian Prime Minister". IANS. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "Matteo Renzi sworn in as Italy's new PM in Rome ceremony". BBC. 22 February 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  14. ^ "Sondaggi, Matteo Renzi non-fa boom" (in Italian). 20 January 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Italian PM Matteo Renzi's electoral reform law clears first hurdle". Guardian. 12 March 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Matteo Renzi forces sweeping change at state companies". Financial Times. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "Matteo Renzi forces sweeping change at state companies". Financial Times. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
  19. ^ Thubron, Dario (21 February 2014). "Matteo Renzi: from Florence mayor to Italy PM". AFP. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 

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