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Centre-left leader empowered to form Italy's new government

The centre-left coalition's leader, Pier Luigi Bersani, has been given mandate to form the new Italian government on Friday, a month after political election that gave no clear winner.

Italy's president, Giorgio Napolitano, gave mandate to the centre-left leader Luigi Bersani to form the new government on Friday, a month after inconclusive political election.

After 2 days of talks and confrontation with all the political parties and forces – as requested by the Constitution – the President of Republic has made his choice, calling it “the first step forward the common goal of giving a full-powered government to the country”.

President Napolitano said Friday that Mr. Bersani was in the best position to create a government, but recognized nonetheless “the very difficult circumstances” of the moment. The national election of February 24th produced no clear winner. The centre-left coalition won the large majority of seats in the Lower House but only a very narrow majority of seats in the Senate.

The president said he was fully aware of the narrow limits of an agreement between the political forces. He decided nevertheless to give Mr. Bersani the task and to wait for the result of a first round of consultations among all the political forces in Parliament.

“The road for a great coalition seems to be very difficult” stated the President of Italian Republic, referring especially to the deep contrasts between Mr Bersani party and the coalition of centre-right, which emerged as the second largest in the country and has in Silvio Berlusconi its leader.

Bersani has ruled out a coalition with Berlusconi's coalition, so far. The political 5 Stars Movement led by the comic Beppe Grillo, now the third political force in the country, has also ruled out supporting any government with Bersani as prime minister.

Showing worries about the current political gridlock, Italy's president reminded the urgent need of change and reforms that came out from the election results, in terms of votes of protest and new political protagonists. “We cannot ignore the vastness and seriousness of the malaise expressed by the vote”.

However, Napolitano firmly rejected the criticism for what he called “the alleged slowness of Italian political system”, reminding that the country has been dutifully able to gather the Parliament in due time, and to elect both the President of House of Parliament and of the Senate, not past 1 month since the 24th February election.

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