PM Renzi’s popularity drop dims Italy’s reform prospects

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Italian PM Renzi gestures during the news conference at the Expo 2015 global fair in Milan

By Isla Binnie ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s drive to reform one of Europe’s most sluggish economies is being threatened by a sharp drop in voter support amid repeated corruption scandals and an immigration crisis. Renzi’s personal popularity has dropped 33 percentage points over the past year, according to pollster Demos, despite a tentative return to growth after three years of recession. The fast-talking 40-year-old toppled his predecessor in a party coup 16 months ago, promising to put a new face on tired, corrupt Italian politics and shake up inefficient institutions.

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