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Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, facing dissent from inside his own party, has announced that he will resign. Letta will meet with his cabinet on Friday morning, then present his resignation to the country's president, Giorgio Napolitano.

The vacant position will likely be filled by Matteo Renzi, the current mayor of Florence. Should he become prime minister, Renzi would be the youngest one in the country's history. At 39, he is the leader of Italy's Democratic Party.

Letta oversaw a coalition government that imperfectly united left- and right-leaning parties, but the country continues to have a slow recovery from the economic recession. Unemployment is currently at 12 percent nationwide and their economy has shrunk 9 percent since 2008.

Shortly before the announcement, the Democratic Party voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new proposal from Renzi for the creation of a new government. The leader of the opposing New Centre Right party said, "we will say no to the birth of a new government."

Renzi, if he succeeds Letta, would be the country's third unelected prime minister. Letta himself was appointed to the job last April, less than a year ago.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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