World

New Italian president starts job with vow to fight corruption, Mafia; urges economic reform

  • Newly elected Italian President Sergio Mattarella delivers his speech during his swearing-in ceremony at the Lower Chamber in Rome, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. Sergio Mattarella on Monday resigned from his post as constitutional judge, a day before his swearing-in ceremony. Mattarella, 73, was elected as the new president on Saturday, in the fourth round of balloting held by Italian parliament in joint session. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    Newly elected Italian President Sergio Mattarella delivers his speech during his swearing-in ceremony at the Lower Chamber in Rome, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. Sergio Mattarella on Monday resigned from his post as constitutional judge, a day before his swearing-in ceremony. Mattarella, 73, was elected as the new president on Saturday, in the fourth round of balloting held by Italian parliament in joint session. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)  (The Associated Press)

  • Newly elected Italian President Sergio Mattarella, center, flanked by Lower Chamber President Laura Boldrini, left, and vice-president of Italian Senate Valeria Fedeli, right, delivers his speech during his swearing-in ceremony at the Lower Chamber in Rome, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. Sergio Mattarella on Monday resigned from his post as constitutional judge, a day before his swearing-in ceremony. Mattarella, 73, was elected as the new president on Saturday, in the fourth round of balloting held by Italian parliament in joint session. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    Newly elected Italian President Sergio Mattarella, center, flanked by Lower Chamber President Laura Boldrini, left, and vice-president of Italian Senate Valeria Fedeli, right, delivers his speech during his swearing-in ceremony at the Lower Chamber in Rome, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. Sergio Mattarella on Monday resigned from his post as constitutional judge, a day before his swearing-in ceremony. Mattarella, 73, was elected as the new president on Saturday, in the fourth round of balloting held by Italian parliament in joint session. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)  (The Associated Press)

  • Newly elected Italian President Sergio Mattarella delivers his speech during his swearing-in ceremony at the Lower Chamber in Rome, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. Sergio Mattarella on Monday resigned from his post as constitutional judge, a day before his swearing-in ceremony. Mattarella, 73, was elected as the new president on Saturday, in the fourth round of balloting held by Italian parliament in joint session. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    Newly elected Italian President Sergio Mattarella delivers his speech during his swearing-in ceremony at the Lower Chamber in Rome, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. Sergio Mattarella on Monday resigned from his post as constitutional judge, a day before his swearing-in ceremony. Mattarella, 73, was elected as the new president on Saturday, in the fourth round of balloting held by Italian parliament in joint session. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)  (The Associated Press)

Italy's new president, Sergio Mattarella, has taken the oath of office with a vow to fight corruption and organized crime and encourage the nation to embrace economic and electoral reform.

The new head of state, whose brother, Piersanti Mattarella, was slain while governor of Sicily by the Mafia in 1980, denounced as "alarming" the spread of the Mafia from its traditional base in the south to northern cities. Mattarella, in his speech to Parliament Tuesday, also decried pervasive corruption, which he said robs citizens of resources meant for them and upsets market rules, "penalizing the honest and the capable."

Lawmakers elected Mattarella, a constitutional court justice, on Saturday. He pledged to use his seven-year term to push for urgent economic and institutional reforms backed by Premier Matteo Renzi.