Renzi, Matteo

Renzi, Matteo, 1975–, Italian political leader. Renzi was a member of the Italian People's party, which merged (2002) with other parties to form Democracy Is Freedom—The Daisy, which then merged (2007) with the Democrats of the Left to become the Democratic party (PD). President of Florence prov. from 2004, he was elected mayor of Florence in 2009. Following his election as secretary of the PD in Dec., 2013, his criticisms of Premier Letta's government led to Letta's resignation, and in Feb., 2014, Renzi–who had never been a member of parliament–succeeded him. Renzi secured passage of a number of governmental and economic reforms, but resigned as premier in Dec., 2016, after voters rejected constitutional changes that would have strengthened the central government and weakened the Italian senate. He resigned as PD leader in Feb., 2017, was reelected the following April, and resigned again in Mar., 2018, following the party's losses in the parliamentary elections. Although he supported (2019) the PD's forming a coalition government with the Five Star Movement, he then left the PD to form a new party, Italia Viva. In 2021, calling for bolder economic action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he pulled his party out of the governing coalition, costing the government its senate majority.

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