Muscat’s meeting with Italian premier postponed

Planned meeting between Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi postponed to Friday.

Matteo Renzi
Matteo Renzi

The meeting between the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, planned for this evening, has been postponed to Friday on the Italian government's request.

The meeting was set to be held on Thursday evening, however due to internal political issues in Italy, the meeting has been postponed to Friday.

On Friday, both leaders are expected to attend the Party of European Socialists' electoral congress in Rome, where a ten-point roadmap is expected to be endorsed ahead of the European Parliament elections in May.

Muscat's planned visit to Palazzo Chigi would have been the first by a foreign leader following Renzi's swearing in as Italy's Prime Minister on Saturday.

In July 2013, Muscat had visited Renzi's predecessor Enrico Letta, who was last week forced to resign after 10 months at the helm of a fragile, often-squabbling coalition.

The 39-year-old Renzi forced party rival Letta to resign as prime minister after criticising his government's failure to pass major reforms, opening the way for Italy's third unelected administration in a row.

Renzi, who leads the centre-left Democratic Party, unveiled his government on Friday and said the broad coalition would bring hope to the economically stagnant country.

After formally accepting the mandate to form the government, Renzi said he would waste no time in enacting one reform every month.

Earlier this week, Renzi gained the backing of the both chambers in the Italian parliament for his fresh-faced government after he insisted the chance for change in the economically struggling country was "real, concrete and immediate".

In a speech before the vote, Renzi outlined an ambitious programme of reform which he said was "bold and, I hope, innovative" but which his opponents said lacked detail.