- Title: New Italian cabinet sworn in by president
- Date: 12th December 2016
- Summary: ROME, ITALY (DECEMBER 12, 2016) (REUTERS) CAMERAMAN FILMING
- Embargoed: 27th December 2016 21:11
- Keywords: Italy government ministers Prime Minister Designate Paolo Gentiloni President Sergio Mattarella Quirinale Presidential Palace
- Location: ROME, ITALY
- City: ROME, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Reuters ID: LVA0055CKXDTZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Italian President Sergio Mattarella swore in Italy's new government on Monday evening (December 12) in a quickly organised ceremony at the end of a long day of political discussions.
Newly appointed Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni took his oath of office first amongst the ministers who mainly remain unchanged from the last cabinet, in a sign of continuity aimed at reassuring financial markets.
In a rapid transfer of power from former prime minister Matteo Renzi, who quit last week after losing a Dec. 4 referendum on constitutional reform, Gentiloni took just a day to put together his team of ministers.
Among those reconfirmed in their post was Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, who is overseeing Treasury efforts to prevent Italy's third largest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, from collapsing under the weight of bad loans.
Many other key ministers, including those overseeing the defence, industry, health and justice portfolios, remained unchanged, with the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) maintaining the lions' share of positions.
Gentiloni was foreign minister in the last administration and he passed the job over to Angelino Alfano, previously interior minister.
There will now be two confidence votes in both houses of parliament this week, formally allowing Gentiloni to take office at the head of Italy's 64th government in just 70 years.
However, the vote in the highly fragmented upper house Senate was thrown into doubt when Denis Verdini, head of the small Liberal-Popular Alliance for Autonomies party (ALA), said his group would not back Gentiloni in parliament if his group was not sufficiently represented in the new cabinet.
Renzi relied upon the support of Verdini, who used to be one of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's closest advisers.
ALA and its sister party Civic Choice, have 18 senators. They might deprive Gentiloni of a majority if they all vote against him. If, however they abstain, the new government should be able to take office.
Assuming he passes this hurdle, one of Gentiloni's main tasks will be to draw up a new electoral law. If this reform is completed quickly it could open the way to an election in the first half of 2017, a year ahead of schedule.
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