Italy’s president will meet centre-left leader Matteo Renzi today and is likely to ask him to form a government following the ousting of Enrico Letta as prime minister.
Renzi will need to reach an agreement with the small New Centre Right party to continue the current coalition and there is common ground. The 39-year-old has already said he backs lower taxes affecting employment, but they differ on issues such as immigration and laws allowing gay and lesbian civil partnerships.
A lot is at stake. Italy needs a strong government that can push through much-needed economic reforms but needs to pass a new electoral law first to allow for more durable administrations in future.
Renzi has struck a deal with centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi which could ensure passage of a new law intended to favour large coalitions and ensure stable government over a full term.
The smart money had expected Renzi to wait in the wings, allowing Letta to do all the heavy lifting and then move to take over once an electoral law was in place. But it appears he lost patience with the slow pace of reform. Whether that is a smart move remains to be seen.