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Italy | Matteo Renzi Becomes Italy's Youngest Prime Minister
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- Matteo Renzi Becomes Italy's Youngest Prime Minister
Matteo Renzi Becomes Italy's Youngest Prime Minister
Il Rottomatore, "Demolition Man," Matteo Renzi, 39, has once again shaken up Italian politics. After negotiating an unprecedented pact in January 2014 with opposition leader Berlusconi—who can no longer hold political office after being ousted from the Senate, but still leads the center-right party— Renzi was sworn in as prime minister on Feb. 22, 2014. Renzi named a 16-member cabinet including Pier Carlo Padoan as finance minister and Angelino Alfano as Interior Minister. For the first time in Italian history, half of the governing cabinet is made up of women, and the average age is 48.
In spring of 2014, Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's former prime minister, was sentenced to one year of community service following his conviction last year for tax fraud. Berlusconi, 77, must assist with Alzheimer's patients in a nursing home outside of Milan. The following month, Berlusconi's conviction for allegedly paying for underage sex was overturned in Milan's appeals court. Still, Berlusconi could not run for public office because of the tax fraud conviction.
Parliament elected Sergio Mattarella president on Feb. 3, 2015. The first native of Sicily to become Italy's president, he previously served as Minister of Education, Minister of Defense, and as a judge on the Constitutional Court. Mattarella's presidential election was a political victory for Prime Minister Renzi. Mattarella was Renzi's candidate for president. His election would aid in Renzi passing reforms to help with the country's economic recovery.
On March 11, 2015, Berlusconi's acquittal on charges of paying for sex with an underage dancer was confirmed by Italy's highest court. Since his community service for the tax fraud charges was also complete, the former prime minister could focus on supporting his divided Forza Italia party in the upcoming May regional elections.