New Italy premier-designate faces confidence votes, protest

Italian Premier-designate Paolo Gentiloni is facing his first confidence votes in Parliament for a new government that mirrors that of Matteo Renzi and was cobbled together in near-record time after Renzi's humiliating resignation.

Gentiloni outlines his agenda before Parliament's two chambers Tuesday, followed by confidence votes that could stretch into Wednesday. The aim is to have a government in place before Thursday's European Council summit.

The populist opposition 5-Star Movement has vowed to abstain from the votes to protest Gentiloni's "photocopied" Cabinet that it says ignores the results of the Dec. 4 referendum, in which Italians overwhelmingly rejected Renzi's reforms.

Gentiloni says his priorities are to help lawmakers draft new electoral rules so Italians can vote in the first general election since 2008.