Italian Prime Minister-designate Enrico Letta on Saturday formally agreed to take over as head of government and presented his list of Cabinet ministers to President Giorgio Napolitano, bringing an end to two months of political uncertainty.
After making his announcement, Letta - deputy secretary of the center-left Democratic Party, or PD, Italy's biggest - told the media the Cabinet was relatively young and had a record number of women.
The list of 21 Cabinet members draws from Italy's main political parties and includes Angelino Alfano of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's center-right The People of Freedom party as deputy prime minister.
Napolitano later told reporters that Letta's government was the only one possible for Italy and expressed his desire that he receive the greatest possible support in Parliament.
In presenting the list, the 46-year-old Letta dropped the "reservations" he had expressed upon accepting his new post on Wednesday.
The deal on the formation of a new coalition government came after Letta won the support of other parties during three days of meetings.
Letta and his Cabinet members are scheduled to be sworn in on Sunday and then are expected to go before the two houses of Italy's parliament on Monday seeking a vote of confidence.
Letta's government is expected to have the necessary support after winning the backing of the political groupings of caretaker Prime Minister Mario Monti and Berlusconi.
He will be opposed by the anti-austerity and anti-establishment Five Star Movement, headed by comedian Beppe Grillo; the Left Ecology Freedom party; and the Brothers of Italy party, an offshoot of The People of Freedom party, while the Northern League party is expected to announce its position in the coming hours.
Recession-hit Italy had faced a burgeoning political crisis after the deeply divided PD won February's general election by a margin insufficient to form a working majority in Parliament and seat a government.
The 87-year-old Napolitano reluctantly agreed to an unprecedented second term as president earlier this month, recognizing his presence was necessary to break the stalemate and get a new government formed. EFE