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April 18, 2014

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Renzi announces trip to Tunis

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 | 9:04 a.m.

ROME (AP) — Premier Matteo Renzi has told lawmakers that his first foreign trip as Italy's leader will be to Tunisia, not Brussels or Berlin.

Renzi announced the trip during his address Tuesday to the lower house of Parliament ahead of a confidence vote on his leadership. Renzi won a confidence vote in the Senate overnight.

Renzi's plan to visit Tunisia and not key European capitals was a clear signal of discontinuity with Italy's last two governments, which emphasized ties with Europe even as ordinary Italians bristled at austerity measures imposed at the EU's behest.

Renzi's coalition has a much more comfortable majority in the Chamber of Deputies than it does in the Senate.

Renzi, at 39 Italy's youngest premier, was sworn into office on Saturday along with an unusually young Cabinet.