5 Feb 2021

Former Italian PM Matteo Renzi talks about causing a political crisis

Matteo Renzi hasn’t been prime minister of Italy for more than four years, but he still has the power to bring his successors down.

Last week he withdrew his support for the government, prompting a political crisis. Now he’s backing the unelected former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi to take over. But the EU isn’t popular in Italy right now, partly because of anger over the slow vaccine rollout.

Mr Renzi himself has come under strong criticism both for his actions in Italy and his links with the leadership of Saudi Arabia. Last week he was on stage in Riyadh with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, saying he believed the kingdom could become the centre of a “new Renaissance”.

We spoke to Mr Renzi earlier, and began by asking if he regrets being the cause of Italy’s current political chaos.