The Latest: Italy's foreign minister asked to be new premier

AP News
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Posted: Dec 11, 2016 7:42 AM
The Latest: Italy's foreign minister asked to be new premier

ROME (AP) — The Latest on Italy's political crisis (all times local):

1:40 p.m.

Italy's foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni, says he has accepted a presidential mandate to try to form a new government and serve as premier.

Gentiloni told reporters minutes after receiving the mandate from President Sergio Mattarella that he'll go straight to work trying to form a new government with the same Democratic-led coalition majority.

If he succeeds in forming a coalition that can win a required confidence vote in Parliament, the 62-year-old Gentiloni will replace fellow Democrat Matteo Renzi, who resigned last week as premier after a bitter defeat in a voter referendum on reforms. Renzi has been staying on in a caretaker role.

Opposition parties, including the populist 5-Star Movement, have been clamoring for a new election.

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1:25 p.m.

Italy's presidential palace says Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni has been asked to serve as premier and form the country's next government.

The announcement was made after Gentiloni met Sunday with Italy's head of state, President Sergio Mattarella.

The 62-year-old Gentiloni, a Democrat like Matteo Renzi, had emerged as a likely pick after Italy's president held three days of consultations with political and parliamentary leaders.

Renzi quit as premier last week after losing a reforms referendum.

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12:30 p.m.

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni has been summoned to the presidential palace on Sunday and appeared poised to receive a mandate to try to form a new government.

President Sergio Mattarella said Saturday night he wants a new government to rapidly be in place, after Matteo Renzi resigned last week following a stinging defeat on a reforms referendum.

The 62-year-old Gentiloni, a Democrat like Renzi, had emerged as a likely pick for Mattarella after the president held three days of consultations with political and parliamentary leaders.

Mattarella has reminded political leaders that Italy faces several urgent problems including a possible government bailout for the Italian bank Monti dei Paschi di Siena, which direly needs to raise new capital, and the reconstruction of several Italian towns destroyed by earthquakes in recent months.