Matteo Renzi formally accepts Italy PM post

ROME (AFP) - Italy's Matteo Renzi formally accepted the role of prime minister Friday, kicking off hopes for a revival in the eurozone's third-largest economy, which has been damaged by a deep recession.

"I am aware of the responsibility, delicacy and extraordinary honour which comes from creating a government capable of bringing hope," the former mayor of Florence told journalists after nearly three hours of talks with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.

"I will do everything possible to deserve the trust of deputies, senators and millions of Italians who are waiting for this government to provide concrete answers," he said.

The 39-year-old has became Italy's youngest-ever prime minister at the head of a coalition government, after helping engineering the downfall of his predecessor Enrico Letta, blamed for failing to carry out promised reforms.

Mr Renzi unveiled his new 16-strong cabinet, which will be sworn in on Saturday, before the government goes to a vote in parliament next week.

The key post of finance minister has gone to Pier Carlo Padoan, the chief economist at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The interior ministry remains in the hands of Angelino Alfano, the head of the New Centre Right (NCR) party, Renzi's coalition partner, while the post of foreign minister has gone to Federica Mogherini, a specialist on European relations.

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