Matteo Renzi

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Matteo Renzi is Italy’s current Prime Minister, having taken office in February 2014. He became Prime Minister at the age of 39 years and 42 days, making him the country’s youngest Prime Minister since 1861. Born and raised in central Italy’s Tuscany region, he was elected Mayor of Florence before reaching the age of thirty. Since then, he has implemented numerous reforms, earning him the nickname ‘il Rottamatore’. Indeed, Renzi regards himself as a reformer and believes that the country’s situation will never improve unless certain reforms are implemented. As a result, his first priority as Prime Minister was to reform labor policies. He then proceeded to implement rapid successions of public reform, administrative reform, tax reform, and constitutional reform. Simultaneously, he is an avid football fan and a staunch supporter of ACF Florentina, the local football club.

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Childhood & Adolescence

Matteo Renzi was born in Florence on 11 January 1975 to Tiziano Renzi and Laura Bovoli. Tiziano is a businessman and member of the Rignano sull’Arno municipal council. Matteo is the couple’s second child. Samuele, Matilde, and Benedetta are the other children.

Matteo began his life in Rignano sull’Arno, a commune located approximately 20 kilometers southeast of Florence.

He later attended Florence’s Liceo classico, the country’s oldest secondary school type. He joined the ‘Associazione Guide e Scouts Cattolici Italiani’ as a scout during his high school years. This was also the period during which he developed an interest in politics.

After graduating from Liceo classico, Matteo enrolled at the University of Florence and earned a degree in law in 1999.

He later became a partner in his family’s business. It was a marketing firm, and he was tasked with coordinating the distribution of La Nazion, a Tuscan newspaper headquartered in Florence.

Career in Politics

While still a student, Matteo Renzi developed an interest in politics. He co-founded a committee in 1996 to support Romano Prodi’s bid for Prime Minister in the 1996 general election.

He joined the Partito Popolare Italiano (PPI) the following year, a progressive, democratic party with a centrist stance. He was appointed Provincial Secretary in 1999. Matteo became a Daisy member in 2001, when PPI merged with Democrazia è Libertà – La Margherita (DL).

Matteo was elected Secretary of Florence Province in 2004. He was the youngest person ever elected to the presidency of an Italian province at the age of thirty. During his presidency, he reduced taxes while simultaneously reducing the Province’s workforce.

In 2007, the Democratic League and other center-left parties merged to form the Partito Democratico (Democratic Party), which Matteo joined. Two years later, he declared his intention to run for Mayor of Florence. He won the June 2009 election with 48 percent of the vote.

As Mayor of Florence, he halved the number of councilors and increased social welfare spending. Education was another area in which he focused his efforts. He not only increased spending on it, but also reduced the kindergarten waiting list by 90%.

By 2010, he had amassed a sizable following. He has now convened a public gathering in Florence. He emphasized the importance of bringing about change within the party in this section. Numerous prominent figures sided with him. Italian media outlets have begun to refer to him as ‘il Rottamatore’ (The Scrapper).

Renzi convened another public meeting in Florence in 2011. He stated during this meeting that Italian politicians from the generation of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi should retire. This caused quite a stir, and those close to Pier Luigi Bersani, the Democratic Party’s (PD) then-secretary, harshly criticized him.

Renzi ran for the party Secretary position in 2012 but was defeated by Pier Luigi Bersani in the primary election. Renzi, undeterred, announced his intention to run for Prime Minister in the 2013 general election.

Pier Luigi Bersani was one of four other candidates for the position. Renzi received 35.5 percent of the vote in the first round. This qualified him to run in the second round. However, in subsequent rounds, he received 39% of the vote, while Bersani received 61%. He then backed Barsani and withdrew from the race.

However, the Democratic Party fared poorly in the 2013 election, which took place on 24 and 25 February. They received only 25% of the vote. Although they controlled the lower house with an absolute majority, they were defeated in the upper house.

Bensari then attempted to reach an agreement with other parties, but this also failed. Pier Luigi Bersani resigned as Democratic Party leader in April 2013 after admitting defeat. Enricco Letta, another Democratic Party member, eventually formed a grand coalition and was elected Prime Minister with the support of three other parties.

Renze declared his candidacy for the party Secretary position following Bensari’s resignation. He received endorsements from a number of prominent leaders and ultimately won the election with 68 percent of the vote. He became not only the party’s Secretary, but also its prospective Prime Ministerial candidate as a result of this victory.

Soon afterwards, rumors of an impending confrontation between Renzi and Prime Minister Letta began to circulate in the political world. Later, it was revealed that Renzi desired Letta’s resignation because he believed that as the party’s leader, he should be given the opportunity to lead the government.

A vote was held on February 13, 2014, to resolve the matter. Renzi won with 136 votes to Letta’s 36. Renzi was invited to form a new government on February 17 following Letta’s resignation on February 14. On February 21, 2014, he announced the names of his new cabinet ministers, the majority of whom are younger.

On February 22, 2014, Matteo Renzi was formally appointed Prime Minister. His first priority upon taking office was to reform labor laws. According to the new government, such reforms are necessary for the Italian economy to improve.

On March 12, 2014, his cabinet issued a decree on fixed-term contracts and a bill proposing significant labor market reforms in Italy. By December 3, 2014, the latter, dubbed the Jobs Act, became law.

The Public Administration Reform Guidelines were presented on April 30, 2014, and were later approved by the Cabinet on June 13, 2014. Additionally, he appointed numerous women to positions of leadership in state-owned enterprises. It was also a novel concept in Italy.

As an austerity measure, he auctioned off 1500 government-owned luxury automobiles. He also took steps to expedite the completion of stalled projects and to simplify bureaucratic procedures. By May 2015, his efforts had begun to bear fruit, with Italy experiencing 0.3 percent growth, signaling the end of the country’s protracted recession.

Renzi also enacted constitutional reforms, reducing the Senate’s power. His greatest obstacle, however, is addressing the high rate of illegal immigration from Syria and Libya. Numerous migrants must be rescued from the sea.

Renzi and his cabinet issue a law decree allowing for international protection of migrants in order to address such issues. Subsequently, he replaced the Italian government’s ‘Operation Mare Nostrum’ with the European Union’s border security agency Frontex’s ‘Operation Triton.’

Renzi developed close relationships with the leaders of various countries. His approach, which combines right-wing economics and left-wing social policies, has been lauded by a number of heads of state. Indeed, many regard him as the exemplar of ‘Third Way Policies.’

Personal History and Legacies

Renzi married Agnese Landini, a teacher by profession, in 1999. Francesco, Emanuele, and Ester are the couple’s three children. He is a devout Catholic who regularly attends mass. Additionally, the family is a member of the Association of Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts.

Estimated Net Worth

The net worth of Matteo is about $21million.