Reuters International

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy is set to appoint its European Union ambassador, Carlo Calenda, as the new industry minister this week, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Sunday.

"We asked him to come back from Brussels. He'll be sworn in this week," Renzi said during a show on state television.

Calenda, a former deputy junior industry minister, was picked by the government to become Italy's top representative in Brussels in January, as Renzi launched a sustained attack on EU rules and rigidity, arguing that without change the 28-nation bloc might disintegrate.

Calenda will replace former industry minister Federica Guidi, who resigned in March over allegations of a conflict of interest after her partner was placed under investigation for influence peddling.

Calenda was the first politician to be named as envoy to Brussels after a string of career diplomats, as Italy sought to have a bigger say in EU affairs and voiced increasingly loud complaints at what it saw as Europe's confused response to the migration crisis, its demands for budget rigour and new rules aimed at increasing the euro zone's financial stability.

(Reporting by Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Digby Lidstone)

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