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Italy's new leader of left vows to back government

Monday - 12/9/2013, 3:55pm  ET

Newly elected PD, Democratic Party secretary general Matteo Renzi attends a press conference he held at Rome's party headquarters, Monday, Dec. 9, 2013. Italy's new leader of the Democratic Party, the government's biggest coalition partner, is pledging to back Premier Enrico Letta. Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi met with Letta in Rome Monday, a day after being elected the center-left party's No. 1 leader in a primary. Renzi has made no secret of his ambitions to become premier. His election as party's secretary Sunday raised some concern he might make Letta's tenure at the helm of government difficult. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

ROME (AP) -- Italy's new leader of the Democratic Party, the government's biggest coalition partner, is pledging to back Premier Enrico Letta.

Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi met with Letta in Rome on Monday, a day after being elected the center-left party's head.

Renzi has made no secret of his ambitions to become premier. His election as party secretary Sunday raised some concern he might make Letta's tenure at the helm of government difficult.

But Renzi dismissed fears he might sabotage the coalition. After he held talks with Letta, also a top Democratic Party leader, both men pledged in a statement to "work well together."

Letta's 9-month-old coalition is trying to end Italy's stubborn recession. It also includes center-right forces formerly loyal to ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi.


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