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  Italy’s president puts coalition talks out of their misery
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Last EditedIndyGeorgia  May 07, 2018 07:43pm
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AuthorGiada Zampano
News DateMonday, May 7, 2018 08:30:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionROME — Italy’s main parties’ fractious and fruitless attempts to form a government came to an end Monday as President Sergio Mattarella finally ran out of patience.

Mattarella instead called on the rival factions to support a “neutral” government to lead the country at least until the end of the year.

The president’s move, which ended two months of political negotiations since the March 4 elections, is aimed at avoiding fresh elections this summer or fall, when the country faces key international and domestic deadlines, including an EU summit in June and a budget law that has to be drafted in October.

The president said that a neutral government, which would be led by a nonpartisan figure and would likely include technocratic ministers chosen by him, would give the rival parties enough time to sort out their differences and possibly reach a deal on a coalition government.

“I continue to aim at a government that is fully operational and that could fully represent Italy for the important decisions it needs to take in Europe,” Mattarella said after Monday’s last-ditch round of talks.

A neutral government, however, faces strong opposition from the political parties that prevailed in March’s election: the 5Star Movement headed by Luigi Di Maio and the far-right League of Matteo Salvini. Both party leaders have said they won’t support a technocratic government and would rather hold new elections.

That makes it likely that Mattarella won’t be able to win the parliamentary vote needed to put his new plan in place.
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