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Matteo Renzi (born 11 January 1975) is an Italian politician who served as the Prime Minister of Italy from February 2014 to December 2016.
He has been an Italian senator for Florence from 2004 to 2009, and then Mayor of Florence from 2009 to 2014.
Renzi was elected Secretary of the Democratic Party from 2013 to 2018, with a brief pause in 2017.
Following the loss of the 2018 election, he resigned as Party Secretary.
Renzi, the youngest Prime Minister in the country, died in September 2019 after leaving the PD and establishing his own liberal movement, Italia Viva.
He was also the first serving Mayor to become Prime Minister.
Renzi was often referred to as the de facto leader of the Party of European Socialists in opposition to Angela Merkel's European People's Party; the two leaders were often referred to as Merkenzi.
Renzi was ranked as the third most influential person under the age of 40 in the world in 2014, and the American magazine Fortune named him as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers.
Renzi, in addition, has been dubbed il Rottamatore (the Scrapper) because of his desire to reform the Italian political system.
Renzi formally resigned as Prime Minister on December 12th after the rejection of his constitutional reform in the December 2016 election; his Foreign Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, was named in his place. Renzi has been described as a centrist and liberal by political commentators.
Renzi's government introduced numerous amendments, including changes to the electoral system, the re-institution of labor and employment reforms with the intention of increasing economic growth, a complete reform of the public administration, the simplification of civil trials, and the abolishment of several small taxes.
Renzi was born in Florence on January 11, 1975, as the second of four children. Tiziano Renzi, the son of Rignano's small business owner and Christian Democracy (DC) municipal councillor, was the father of the town. In Rignano sull'Arno, Renzi grew up in an observant Catholic family. He studied at Dante Alighieri, a classical lyceum (liceo classico), in Florence, Italy, where he passed his final exam with a score of 60/60, but was almost dismissed because, as the students' representative, refused to delete a school newspaper in which a maths teacher was mocked. He was a Scout in the Association of Catholic Guides and Scouts of Italy at this period.
Renzi obtained a thesis on Giorgio La Pira, Florence's former mayor, in 1999. He went on to work for CHIL Srl, a marketing firm that specializes in leafleting owned by his family, and he was co-ordinating La Nazione's sales team. Renzi was also a youth football referee and a futsal player at the time, as well as an association football referee. He appeared in five episodes in the television show La Ruota Della Fortuna (a localized version of the United States game show Wheel of Fortune), winning Lit.48 million.
Renzi married Agnese Landini, a teacher, with three children: two sons, Francesco and Emanuele, and a daughter, Ester. The Renzi family is a regular Mass-goers and is active in the Association of Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts, Italy's biggest Scouting group. Renzi can also speak French and some English in addition to his native Italian. He is a huge football fan and he supports ACF Fiorentina, the team of his hometown Florence.
Benedetta, his sister, was elected a municipal councillor for the PD in Castenaso, a tiny town near Bologna, at the 2014 Italian municipal elections. Tiziano, Renzi's father, was the city secretary of Rignano sull'Arno, near Florence, until March 2017; he was formerly a municipal councillor for Christian Democracy from 1985 to 1990.
Early political career
Renzi's political aspirations started in high school. Renzi was one of the founders of the committee in favor of Romano Prodi's appointment as Prime Minister of Italy in 1996; the same year, he joined the centrist Italian People's Party (PPI) and became the country's provincial secretary in 1999. He also married Agnese Landini, with whom he later had three children. Renzi joined Francesco Rutelli's Daisy party in 2001, which was made up of members of the disbanded PPI.
Renzi was elected president of Florence, Italy, with 59% of the vote on June 13th as the candidate of the centre-left coalition. He was the youngest man to head an Italian province. Renzi expressed his opposition to "the political caste" during his reign as president of Florence, Italy, and reduced taxes and reduced the number of employees and managers during his mandate.
Renzi, the president of Florence province, has announced that he will run for mayor of Florence after five years as the president of Florence province. Renzi, who now a member of the Democratic Party (PD), won the second round vote with 60% of the vote, up from 40% for his opponent Giovanni Galli. As the mayor, he halved the number of city councillors, installed 500 free WiFi access points around the city, reduced kindergarten waiting lists by 90%, and increased spending on social care and schools.
Renzi called a public meeting with another young party leader, Debora Serracchiani, at Leopolda Station in Florence, one year after being sworn in as mayor and with his national opinion polls increasing, to address Italian politics. Matteo Richetti, president of Emilia-Romagna's Regional Council, Davide Faraone, a regional councillor from the Sicilian Regional Assembly, and Giuseppe Civati, a key member of the PD in Lombardy and a member of the Regional Council of Lombardy, were among the many prominent members of Renzi's program.
Renzi was given the nickname il rottamatore ("The Scrapper" or "The Wrecker") after this public meeting in August 2010. Renzi hosted his second public meeting in October 2011, this time in Florence, where he also wrote down one hundred topics of discussion. During this period, he began to be blasted by other members of his party's closest to then-PD Secretary Pier Luigi Bersani, after his suggestion that Italian politicians of the same generation as then-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi should step down. Renzi declared in September 2012 that he would lead the center-left coalition in the 2013 Italian general election; the other four contenders for the position were Pier Luigi Bersani, the deputy prime minister of Veneto and Bruno Tabacci, leader of the Democratic Centre, and Laura Puppato, one of the Veneto and Bruno Tabacci. Several influential PD members and the party's left sluggishly attacked his candidacy, including Rosy Bindi, Massimo D'Alema, Stefano Fassina, and Vendola.
Renzi gained 35.5% of the vote in the first round of the 2012 Italian center-left primary election, placing second behind Bersani and qualifying for the second round. Renzi gained a total of 39% of the vote, compared to Bersani's 61%. Renzi rallied in Florence during the 2013 general election campaign, assisting Bersani in staging large public rallies. Despite opinion polls showing the party at nearly 30%, the PD gained only 5 percent of the vote in the general election. Renzi caused only minor controversy by openly condemning both Franco Marini and Anna Finocchiaro, two long-serving PD candidates, in the 2013 Italian presidential election.
Renzi declared in April that he would contest the position of secretary of the Democratic Party (PD), causing his rivals to scrutinize him. Bersani's leadership skills were questioned by party members because of the PD's departures. Renzi's impressive resume at such a young age, as well as his reputation as a political outsider thanks to his "Scrapper" moniker, made him a popular candidate. Former political adversaries, including former party secretaries Walter Veltroni and Dario Franceschini, deputy Marina Sereni, member of the European Parliament and Turin mayor Piero Fassino, were among his supporters, including former Torin mayor Piero Fassino. Gianni Pietro Dal Moro, Francesco Sanna, Lorenzo Basso, Lorenzo Basso, and Enrico Borghi were among his supporters, many of whom were close to newly elected Prime Minister Enrico Letta.
Gianni Cuperlo, a member of the Chamber of Deputies and former minister of the Italian Communist Youth Federation, and Giuseppe Civati, a left-wing-oriented deputy from Lombardy and a former Renzi supporter, were among the other two candidates for party secretary. Renzi received 68% of the popular vote in the 2013 PD leadership race, compared to 18% for Cuperlo and 14% for Civati. He was both the new PD secretary and the potential candidate for Prime Minister of Italy's center-left coalition. Renzi shifted to the left in the 2012 center-left primary election, and his audience was not significantly different from that of the party's average primary.
Prime Minister Letta, who had been the vice-secretary of the opposition under Bersani's leadership, applauded Renzi's appointment. Several reports of ongoing leadership conflicts between Renzi and Prime Minister Letta emerged between January and February 2014. Many believed Renzi was pressuring Letta to resign in his favour, claiming that he should be given the opportunity to serve as the PD's leader. Letta confirmed these rumors for the first time on Tuesday, demanding Renzi to clarify his position. Renzi called a meeting of the PD leadership for the following evening. Renzi had called on Letta to resign immediately and allow him to form a new government right before the meeting took place. Letta denied the request at first; following a vote in favour of Renzi's plan during the meeting, which Letta did not attend, he resigned as Prime Minister on February 14th.
The PD officially joined the Party of European Socialists (PES) as a full member under Renzi's leadership on February 28, 2014.