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FT says Renzi should follow example of Mexican president

'Neither Blair nor Obama should inspire premier-designate'

21 February, 14:18
FT says Renzi should follow example of Mexican president (ANSA) - New York, February 21 - The Financial Times (FT) on Friday posted a commentary saying Italian Democratic Party (PD) leader Matteo Renzi, who is currently poised to become Italy's next premier, should look to the president of Mexico for footsteps to follow.

The British newspaper pointed out that Renzi has been compared to United States President Barack Obama and former British premier Tony Blair in his leadership style and agenda, but those leaders should not be on the forefront of his mind as he wrestles to form a new government and majority coalition.

"The best role model for Mr. Renzi is also in North America (like Obama), but just south of the US. I am referring to Enrique Pena Nieto," wrote Ferdinando Giugliano in an online FT commentary. "Since he was elected some fifteen months ago, Mr. Pena Nieto has driven through an ambitious reform agenda, from telecommunications to education to energy, there is little Mr.

Pena Nieto has not dared to touch," explained Giugliano.

"After a decade in which it was considered little more than a narco-state, Mexico is now firmly back on the map of foreign investors - something which Italy could also do with," Giugliano said.

The editorialist suggested Renzi follow what Pena Nieto did to overcome his lack of an absolute parliamentary majority. Renzi not only faces a divided parliament, but also must grapple with the limited executive powers of premiers under the Italian system.

Pena Nieto hammered out a 95-point programme with the main opposition groups, called the "Pact for Mexico", which "has been instrumental in helping the president achieve his objectives".

The FT commentary advised Renzi to get major opposition groups "to sign a similar coalition agreement".

"For a divided Italy, a dose of Mexican realism could be more useful than the illusion of an American dream," the writer concluded.