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Italy’s Foreign Minister Will Try to Form a New Government

Italy's Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni leaves after receiving a mandate to try to form the country's new government at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, Italy December 11, 2016. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

The following is an excerpt from GAIA PIANIGIANI | December 11, 2016 | Nytimes.com |

ROME — Italy’s foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni, accepted a presidential mandate on Sunday to try to form a new government, hoping to lead Italy out of a political crisis that ensued with the resignation of Matteo Renzi as prime minister.

Mr. Renzi resigned last week after the defeat of a referendum on constitutional changes that he hoped would streamline Italy’s government. He had staked his own seat on the outcome, and failed.

In a brief speech on Sunday, Mr. Gentiloni, 62, said he had accepted the challenge of forming a new government out of a “sense of responsibility.”

“I’m aware of the urgency to give Italy a government in the fullness of its powers, to reassure the citizens and to face with utmost commitment and determination international, economic and social priorities, starting with the reconstruction of the quake-hit areas,” Mr. Gentiloni said.

In coming days, Mr. Gentiloni is expected to form a government using the same majority, led by the center-left Democratic Party, as his predecessor and then face a confidence vote before Parliament, perhaps as early as Tuesday.

His cabinet is likely to resemble that run by Mr. Renzi, with whom he has had a close relationship. For those reasons, the opposition, anti-establishment Five Star Movement has already called Mr. Gentiloni “Renzi’s avatar.”

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