Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Sunday appointed the country’s Foreign Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, the new prime minister and asked him to form a government, reported BBC. After meeting the president in his official residence in Rome, Gentiloni said he had accepted the new task as a “high honour” and will fulfill it with “dignity” and “responsibility”.
The 62-year-old minister will start consultations with political leaders to form the government and report to Mattarella on his progress regularly. They hope to have a government in place by Thursday so that Gentiloni can represent Italy at a European Union summit in Brussels on December 15, reported Deutsche Welle. However, Gentiloni faces a banking crisis and a rise in popular support for anti-establishment, according to BBC.
A member of the Democratic Party, Gentiloni also happens to be a close ally of former prime minister Matteo Renzi who was forced to resign after losing a referendum on constitutional reforms on December 5. Renzi had lost the referendum by a 59%-41% margin. The electorate had voted to show whether they approved a Constitutional law to amend the constitution and powers of the Italian Parliament. The reforms, which would have included changes to the division of powers between the state, regions and other administrative entities, would have reduced bureaucracy in Italy and brought in more competition, according to Renzi and his Democratic Party.
Gentiloni will hold the post till fresh elections are held in February 2018. However, parties like the Five Star Movement and the Northern League, which had opposed the Constitutional reforms, have called for early polls.