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Renzi 'determined' to build 'watershed' govt says PD

'Support for challenge facing him'

19 February, 13:44
Renzi 'determined' to build 'watershed' govt says PD (see previous).

(ANSA) - Rome, February 19 - Premier-designate Matteo Renzi is "determined to try to build a watershed government" to break with the past, his Democratic Party (PD) said after talks with their leader Wednesday.

"We gave Renzi the PD's support for the challenge facing him," said PD House caucus leader Roberto Speranza after government-formation talks.

Renzi has vowed to enact "one reform per month" to lift Italy's struggling economy, streamline government and cut political costs to counter public disaffection at endemic graft and corruption. The PD, Italy's biggest party, was the second-last group to meet Renzi, who is expected to give President Giorgio Napolitano a list of ministers at the end of the week and be sworn in early next week.

The last group to see Renzi is the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) of comedian-turned politician Beppe Grillo, which came a very close second to the PD in last February's inconclusive general election.

Grillo, who sees the traditional parties as equally culpable for Italy's woes, is leading the M5S delegation after an online poll persuaded him to rethink his boycott of the government-formation talks. On Thursday the New Centre Right (NCD), junior partner in the previous government of Enrico Letta, reportedly set Renzi three conditions for joining his government: keeping the same coalition, naming a justice minister to defend suspects' rights, and ruling out a wealth tax.

The NCD split with ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi after he was banned from the Senate on a tax-fraud conviction and is hoping to vie with the centre-right leader for the conservative vote at the next election.

It had previously said it would join a coalition led by Berlusconi's revised Forza Italia party but swapped unprecedented insults with FI at the weekend.