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Italy PM Enrico Letta resigns: Statement

Published on Feb 14, 2014 9:06 PM
Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta waves as he arrives at Quirinale palace in Rome to formally submit his resignation, on Feb 14, 2014. Mr Letta has submitted his resignation to President Giorgio Napolitano, who will hold consultations on Friday and Saturday to nominate his successor, the presidency said. -- PHOTO: AFP

ROME (AFP) - Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta resigned on Friday in a fast-paced political drama in Rome that paves the way for 39-year-old centre-left leader Matteo Renzi to take his place.

Financial markets cheered as Mr Letta submitted his resignation to President Giorgio Napolitano after just 10 tumultuous months at the head of a fragile coalition with the centre-right in which he struggled with a rampant economic crisis.

Mr Napolitano will now begin consultations with political leaders to pick a nominee to replace Mr Letta, which the presidency said would conclude on Saturday.

Mr Letta was forced to announce his resignation on Thursday after his own Democratic Party overwhelmingly backed a motion by its new leader Renzi calling for a new government.

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