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Pope phones Letta

'Affectionate' call, say media

20 February, 14:36
Pope phones Letta (ANSA) - Rome, February 20 - Pope Francis phoned outgoing premier Enrico Letta Wednesday night in what Italian media said was an "affectionate" call to the official torpedoed by his own Democratic Party (PD) after PD leader Matteo Renzi called for a new government.

Italian newspapers said Letta, a practising Catholic like Renzi, "thanked the pope from the bottom of his heart" and would remember the call for the rest of his life.

Letta has kept a low profile since Renzi effectively ousted him for being too slow to enact reforms.

The outgoing premier and PD former deputy head was pictured Sunday taking his family to Mass in Rome.

photo: Letta at the Vatican in July