Italy’s president Giorgio Napolitano announced retirement

January 14, 2015

Italy’s president Giorgio Napolitano gave his resignation on wednesday. The 89 year old cited age limitation as his reason of resignation. Mr. Napolitano is best remembered for bringing stability during eurozone crisis. Senate speaker Pietro Grasso will act as interim president until a new head of state is elected. However it is unclear about the potential candidate for the top position. Many names have been raising including from former Prime Minister Romano Prodi or current Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan to constitutional court judge Sergio Mattarella. Voting will begin within 15 days and is expected to start this month. The new president will be elected in a secret ballot by a full sitting of both houses of parliament, representatives of the regions. It is a complicated multi-round procedure.

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About Giorgio Napolitano

Giorgio Napolitano is a former communist who first entered parliament in 1953. He was forrced to serve a second term in 2013 after a deadlocked general election threatened to create political chaos. During financial crisis in 2011, Napolitano fended off risk of bailout by appointing former European Commissioner Mario Monti to lead govt of non politicians to reassure markets after Berlusconi’s majority crumbled amid record high bond yields. Presidential terms in Italy normally last seven years.

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