Enrico Letta, deputy leader of the Centre-Left Democratic Party in Italy, has been formally asked to form the next Government, an aide to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has said.

The Prime Ministerial designate, a former Europe, Industry and Foreign Trade Minister, said he will move quickly to form a Government following eight weeks of political stalemate.

Speaking shortly after being appointed by President Giorgio Napolitano, the 46-year-old Letta said he plans to return to the President “in the shortest time possible,” after consulting political parties about support for his Government.

As Prime Minister, he would concentrate on tackling unemployment, pushing through institutional reforms and calling on the European Union to change its current stance, which he says is “too focused on austerity.”

Earlier, Mr. Napolitano had summoned Mr. Letta to his Quirinale palace, in a move that was widely interpreted as signalling that he would be appointed Prime Minister.

More In: World | International | News