Italian government renews central bank chief's mandate

Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni's government has renewed Ignazio Visco's mandate as head of the Bank of Italy, in an apparent slap at Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi.

The Cabinet vote on Friday ends days of politicking over whether Visco, 67, would be confirmed for a second term after former premier Renzi took a swipe at Visco, blaming him for lack of oversight over the country's troubled banks.

Both Gentiloni and Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, have supported a second term for Visco, citing the bank's independence and fearing a shake-up could roil markets.

Analyst Wolfango Piccoli said Renzi's attack against Visco was "widely regarded as a clumsy attempt to deflect attention from the banking scandals," and which only succeeded in triggering new divisions in his party.