11 January 2016

Matteo Renzi – politician

Italy's youngest Prime Minister was inspired by the scout movement

Matteo Renzi, the current Prime Minister of Italy, was born on this day in 1975 in Florence.

Renzi became Italy's youngest Prime Minister when he was elected in 2014
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
When he became Prime Minister in February 2014, he was the youngest person to hold the office since Italian unification in 1861.

Celebrating his 41st birthday today, Renzi is still the youngest leader in the G7, the group of seven countries with the most advanced economies.

His father, Tiziano Renzi was a Christian Democrat local councillor in Rignano sull’Arno, where Renzi was brought up as part of an observant Catholic family.

He went to school in Florence and was a scout in the association of Catholic Guides and Scouts of Italy.

On Renzi’s personal website he carries a quote from Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Scout Movement: “Lasciare il mondo un po’ migliore di come lo abbiamo trovato - Leave the world a bit better than how you found it.”

Since forming a Government nearly two years ago, Renzi has reformed labour and employment laws to boost economic growth and has abolished some small taxes.

Renzi became interested in politics while still at school. He graduated from the University of Florence with a degree in Law and at the age of 21 joined the Italian People’s Party. In 2001 he joined The Daisy Party, formed by members of the disbanded People’s party. Three years later he was elected as President of Florence Province.

He then joined the Democratic Party and was elected as Mayor of Florence in 2009. 

He was elected Secretary of the Democratic Party in 2013 and under his leadership the party joined the Party of European Socialists.

Renzi had stated publicly that Italy badly needed a new government with a radical programme of reforms and, after the Prime Minister tendered his resignation in 2014, he was tasked with forming a new government by President Giorgio Napolitano.

After taking up residence in Palazzo Chigi, Renzi appointed his Cabinet, Italy’s youngest ever, with an equal number of male and female ministers.

The author of several books on politics, Renzi is married with three children.

The Palazzo Chigi in Rome, official residence
of the Prime Minister of Italy
Photo: Geobia (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Travel Tip:

Palazzo Chigi, the official residence of the Prime Minister of Italy, is a 16th century palace in Piazza Colonna in Rome. It is just off Via del Corso and is close to the Pantheon.

Travel Tip:

The University of Florence can trace its origins back to the 14th century, but the modern University, where Matteo Renzi studied Law, dates back to 1859, when a number of higher studies institutions were grouped together. The resulting Institute was officially recognised as a University by the Italian parliament in 1923. The Law faculty is in the Novoli district in the north west of Florence, near the courts.

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