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Obama has 'confidence' in Renzi's reforms

US president 'impressed' by Italian premier's energy

27 March, 17:16
Obama has 'confidence' in Renzi's reforms (ANSA) - Rome, March 27 - United States President Barack Obama said Thursday that he had "confidence" in the reforms Premier Matteo Renzi wants to introduce to revive Italy's weak economy and overhaul its political system. "The premier will know how to take Italy forward," Obama told a press conference in Rome after meeting Renzi, who became Italy's youngest premier at 39 after unseating his Democratic Party (PD) colleague Enrico Letta last month.

Obama added that he was "favourably impressed by the energy" of Renzi and that his arrival was positive for Italy and for a new generation of European leaders.

He also said he was "anxious" to receive Renzi at the White House.

Renzi, meanwhile, said Obama was a "source of inspiration" for him and his cabinet. "Today's talks confirm the great friendship and partnership (between the US and Italy)," the centre-left Italian leader said.

He said Obama's campaign slogan "Yes we can" also applies in today's Italy and that he was modelling his economic policy on the US president's. "We opted to use the same name, Jobs Act, to find work for young people," he said.

"The US is a model but Italy needs to do its own homework through structural reforms".