(ANSA) - Rome, February 13 - The head of the ruling
Democratic Party (PD) on Thursday made a move to unseat Premier
Enrico Letta at a crunch meeting before party bigwigs, telling
them Italy needed a new government.
"A new government is a risky option, but it makes sense if
you have the courage to say to Europe that the aim is to get to
2018 with electoral and Constitutional reforms and change the
rules," the mayor of Florence told the meeting, where he is
widely expected to replace Letta if the party approves.
For weeks the energetic 39-year-old has been piling
pressure on Letta, his PD colleague, for not enacting reforms
Renzi, who won the party leadership in a landslide vote in
December, thanked Letta for his service to the country since
becoming premier after inconclusive elections early last year
that led to two months of government gridlock.
Due to the unprecedented left-right makeup of his
coalition, Letta's leadership was imperiled early on by
ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, who threatened to tank the
executive up until being ousted from parliament in late 2013.
Harrying soon followed from Renzi, who argued Berlusconi's
absence meant Letta was out of excuses with regard to reforms to
jumpstart the economy and revamp election laws.
Meanwhile PD leadership was poised to vote later at the
crisis meeting on whether to continue supporting Letta.
In his speech, Renzi ruled out Letta "passing the baton" to
him and said a new government was needed with a radical change
"Passing the baton happens when you're going in the same
direction with the same intensity, not when you're trying to
change the pace," said Renzi.
Letta, who skipped the PD meeting, opted to cancel an
official visit to Britain later this month as Renzi moved closer
to taking his job, the Financial Times said.