Italy's new president, Sergio Mattarella, has officially taken office.
The 73-year-old has vowed to fight corruption and encourage the recession-plagued country to embrace economic and political reforms.
In his inauguration speech to Italy's parliament on Tuesday, newly sworn-in President Sergio Mattarella, aged 73, prioritized national efforts against organized crime and corruption as well as reforms aimed at getting the country's recession-hit economy back on track.
"It is essential for budget consolidation to be combined with a strong growth initiative, to be formulated first of all at a European level," Mattarella said, on a day when Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was due to meet his freshly elected Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras in Rome to discuss Greece's new anti-austerity course.
On Monday, Renzi reiterated his long-standing view that Europe must abandon austerity.
Mattarella drew attention to Italy's own economic woes, saying the slump had "protracted itself beyond all limits," fuelling injustice, poverty and social exclusion as well as threatening national unity.
He also denounced pervasive corruption in the country, which he said was "penalizing the honest and the capable." Long political career Mattarella, a constitutional court justice and former Christian Democrat who originates from Sicily, is closely associated with the fight against organized crime in Italy.