Europe

Feb 24, 2014

The bluff of Matteo: can the demolition man rebuild Italy?

Italy has sworn in its youngest prime minister, and Mattew Renzi has big plans. But Rome reporter Josephine McKenna asks: can the former Wheel of Fortune winner now win over a disaffected nation?

Matteo Renzi

Matteo Renzi (pictured) looked like a smug schoolboy as he and his new cabinet were sworn in by Giorgio Napolitano, a president more than twice his age, under the elegant chandeliers and frescoes of the Quirinale Palace.

3 comments

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3 thoughts on “The bluff of Matteo: can the demolition man rebuild Italy?

  1. klewso

    ….. Has he got a magic wand?

  2. JennyWren

    From my experience of living in the country for many years, the most encouraging thing that he seems to have mentioned is changing the electoral law (?). If he means moving from a first past the post system to one of proportional representation then he might actually be getting somewhere. Another thing is that politicians are too overpaid there. I remember reading on Beppe Grillo’s excellent blog that the Italian ambassador to Germany earned more than Angela Merkel! This fosters an “us versus them” mentality in regards to pollies’ attitudes to the public once they have achieved office.
    But the major elephant in the room is corruption, the mafia and the black market. When half the economic activity in a country pays zero tax then you are always going to have problems with government debt. A move to a superannuation system such as Australia’s would also relieve the government from paying pensions, and we all know about the aging demographic over there, they have the lowest birthrate in the world I believe.
    So, giovane Matteo has his work cut out for him. But maybe if he has the consensus of all sides of politics he could effect change. I would really love to see that, as I have a lot of affection for the country and its generous, slightly mad people.

  3. Rena Zurawel

    Elections??
    Waste of time and money.

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