Italy in political deadlock
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano’s efforts to form a government remain fruitless after February’s election results. No party achieved a majority in Parliament.
The President held a meeting with political leaders on 20 March, declaring it "an absolute necessity to give the country a government". Pier Lugi Bersani’s Democratic Party gained 29.5% of the vote in the lower house.
While he commands the largest bloc, he cannot form a government without a coalition.
Bersani has refused the helping hand of former PM Silvio Berlusconi’s centre right party, which was a close second at 29.1%. Comedian Beppe Grillo and his 5-Star Movement could solve the puzzle.
If no agreement can be reached, Italy will keep its provisional government until new elections are scheduled.
With a record unemployment rate of 11.7% (according to ISTAT) and over €2 trillion in debt, the stalemate spurred anxiety among Italian businesses and European partners.