Renzi slams 'useless' preoccupations of national politics

Florence mayor puts 'real issues' at centre of local agenda

Renzi slams 'useless' preoccupations of national politics

Florence, April 11 - Centre-left Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi on Thursday distanced himself from the often 'useless' preoccupations of national politics, playing up his own preoccupation with ''the real things that concern citizens''. ''Politicians are currently discussing numerous issues, many of which are useless, that only concern the people involved,'' said the 38-year-old upstart mayor who challenged Democratic Party (PD) Secretary Pier Luigi Bersani unsuccessfully in a party primary last year. ''The reply from Florence is to concentrate on concrete issues: sustainable building, energy saving, meeting citizens' needs,'' Renzi wrote Thursday on his Facebook page. Many see Renzi as a possible answer to the lacklustre performance by the centre-left in recent inconclusive general elections and the resulting political deadlock, possibly at the helm of a broad coalition government supported by left and right. Renzi himself has been careful not to criticise the party leadership openly although on Wednesday he expressed his anger over not being chosen as a Tuscany regional representative to elect Italy's next president, allegedly due to opposition from within the PD. He also said he hoped there would be fresh general elections "as soon as possible".

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