Italy's Government May Be On The Verge Of Collapse

Renzi italyREUTERS/ Remo CasilliMatteo Renzi leaving a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta in Rome

Italy is preparing for a possible intra-party government shake-up.

In April, Prime Minister Enrico Letta came to power after forming a coalition headed by the country’s Democratic party (PD).

But the PD leader (and mayor of Florence), Matteo Renzi, has since criticised Letta.

With pressure mounting for Letta to step aside for the younger and more energetic Renzi, the two had a “chilly meeting at Mr. Letta’s office to discuss a possible takeover,” the BBC’s David Willey writes. From the BBC:

Italian politics remains sclerotic and Mr Renzi, who attends meetings in shirt sleeves and travels around in a small car or on a bicycle, tries to project a different image. The question remains: can he offer a more viable solution to an economic crisis that has left over 40% of young people unemployed?

In the midst of all this, Letta is set to present his new reform program called “Commitment 2014,” which focuses on the economy, the BBC reports. Italy is still very much in the economic doldrums, with industrial output down 0.9% in December.

Markets were up late in the European trading session. Italy’s FTSE MIB is up 1.5%.

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