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Renzi and his bella cabinet face uphill battle to rejuvenate Italy

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Italy's Minister for Constitutional Reforms and Parliamentary Relations Maria Elena Boschi looks on during a confidence vote at the Senate in Rome

Italy's Minister for Constitutional Reforms and Parliamentary Relations Maria Elena Boschi looks on during a confidence vote at the Senate in Rome

REUTERS

Italy's Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini

Italy's Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini

REUTERS

Italy's Minister for Simplification of Public Administration Marianna Madia

Italy's Minister for Simplification of Public Administration Marianna Madia

REUTERS

Newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

REUTERS

Newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (front row, 5th L) poses with President Giorgio Napolitano (first row, 4th R) and other new ministers during a swearing-in ceremony at Quirinale Palace in Rome

Newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (front row, 5th L) poses with President Giorgio Napolitano (first row, 4th R) and other new ministers during a swearing-in ceremony at Quirinale Palace in Rome

REUTERS

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Italy's Minister for Constitutional Reforms and Parliamentary Relations Maria Elena Boschi looks on during a confidence vote at the Senate in Rome

ITS MEMBERS are young – and half are women – but Italy's new cabinet is already facing an uphill battle to turn the country around. Italian Premier Matteo Renzi (39) leads a broad coalition including his dominant centre-left Democrats, centrists, and conservative forces formerly behind scandal-hit Silvio Berlusconi.

With an average age under 48, the 16-member cabinet is one of the smallest and youngest in recent Italian history.

But the female cabinet members have already been criticised over their dress sense, with quality experts saying the "sexist" reaction proved that Italy's view of women was still years out of date.

"We continue to see comments on how women in politics are dressed and how they walk," said Sveva Magaraggia, a lecturer at Rome's Roma Tre university. In his first speech in the Senate Mr Renzi said his group would work on "radical" choices to give fresh life to troubled Italy. Mr Renzi should be able to muster a slim majority on his days-old government in a mandatory vote of confidence.

Irish Independent