File - Italian prime minister Enrico Letta gesturing prior to a confidence vote at the Italian Senate in Rome, November 26, 2013. (AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO)
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Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said he would tender his resignation on Friday, opening the way for centre-left leader Matteo Renzi to take the helm of Italy's third government in less than a year.The decision to resign came after the Democratic Party, the largest party in the ruling coalition, supported a call by its 39-year-old leader Renzi for a more ambitious government to pull Italy out of its economic slump.Napolitano is then expected to call on Renzi to form a new administration.However, the continual uncertainty has held back any concerted effort to revive an economy struggling to emerge from its worst slump since World War Two or overhaul a political system blamed for hampering any deep reform programme.In his speech, Renzi acknowledged that forcing Letta out and trying to form a new government with the existing centrist and centre-right coalition partners carried risks for both the government and himself personally. Renzi added that he saw the new government lasting until 2018 .If Renzi is named prime minister, he would be Italy's third unelected leader in succession after the technocrat Mario Monti and Letta, who was appointed as premier last April after weeks of fruitless wrangling between rival parties.
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