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Renzi govt faces House test after winning Senate confidence

PD leader prevailed in Upper House with 169 votes in favour

25 February, 10:39
Renzi govt faces House test after winning Senate confidence (ANSA) - Rome, February 25 - Premier Matteo Renzi's government faces the second of two parliamentary confidence votes in the Lower House on Tuesday after the new executive was sworn in at the weekend.

The leader of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) saw his administration win the backing of the Senate early on Tuesday, with 169 votes in favour and 139 against. "OK in the Senate, now the House," Renzi, Italy's youngest premier at 39, posted on his Twitter account, @matteorenzi.

"Then we'll start working seriously". The premier was sitting on the governments benches when the House debate started at around 10:00 ahead of the second confidence vote.

The PD has a majority in the House, unlike the Senate, where Renzi needed the support of coalition partners to pass the confidence test as his party did not obtain full control of the Upper House at last year's inconclusive general election. Renzi leads a team of 16 ministers, eight of them women, with an average age of 47, also the youngest ever. He took power after torpedoing the coalition executive of his predecessor and PD colleague Enrico Letta. He accused Letta of moving too slowly on promised reforms to streamline government and jump start the economy, which is slowly emerging from its longest postwar recession, in order to cut record unemployment and help increasing numbers of 'new poor'. Renzi will now have the arduous job of delivering those reforms while working with the same fractious alliance Letta had. He is Italy's third straight unelected premier. Deals between parties led to the creation of Letta's administration last year and the emergency technocrat government of Mario Monti in 2011.

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