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April 20, 2014

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Italy’s new premier asks Parliament to support him

Updated Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 | 6:10 a.m.

ROME (AP) — Italian Premier Matteo Renzi is pitching for support in Parliament ahead of mandatory confidence votes on his brand-new coalition.

The Democratic Party leader told the Senate Monday he needs support for a "bold vision" for reviving Italy's stagnant economy, but offered few details.

Renzi said debt-laden Italy must heal its public finances not because Germany's Angela Merkel or the European Central Bank chief want us "to get serious," but because "it's our children" who seek a future.

The 39-year-old former Florence mayor became Italy's youngest premier on Saturday after ousting fellow Democratic Party leader Enrico Letta. Renzi says Letta's 10-month-old government wasn't reviving the economy fast enough.

Youth unemployment hovers around 40 percent.

Barring defections, Renzi's coalition should win a slim Senate majority in the vote expected late Monday.