More than 60 percent of Italians approve of new PM Letta - poll

ROME Fri May 3, 2013 10:25am BST

Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta gestures during a joint news conference with Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) at Chigi Palace in Rome May 2, 2013. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Italy's Prime Minister Enrico Letta gestures during a joint news conference with Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) at Chigi Palace in Rome May 2, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Tony Gentile

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ROME (Reuters) - More than 60 percent of Italians have confidence in new prime minister Enrico Letta, but only 7 percent expect his right-left coalition government to last for a full five-year term, a survey showed on Friday.

Letta's government was sworn in on Sunday, ending months of stalemate in the euro zone's third largest economy. He embarked on a tour of European capitals this week to push for a shift of focus away from austerity towards growth and jobs.

The survey by leading pollster the SWG institute showed that the 46-year-old moderate, from the badly fractured centre-left Democratic Party (PD), is the most popular prominent political figure among Italians, with a 62 percent approval rating.

Centre-left Florence mayor Matteo Renzi was close behind him with 60 percent, while centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi and the head of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement Beppe Grillo trailed with 28 percent and 27 percent respectively.

Forty-eight percent of those polled answered yes when asked whether they were satisfied with the make-up of Letta's government, which is backed by the PD, Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PDL) and a centrist group led by former prime minister Mario Monti.

The survey, conducted on April 30 and May 1, polled 1,500 people over the age of 18. The margin of error was 2.9 percent.

(Reporting by Catherine Hornby; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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