Source: Agencies | 2013-3-2 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
ITALIAN President Giorgio Napolitano ruled out an early return to the polls yesterday as Italy's parties wrangled over how to form a government after this week's deadlocked election.
Speaking during a state visit to Berlin, Napolitano said Italy needed a stable government and could not immediately hold a new election. "I'm not interested in going back to vote again," he told reporters.
Napolitano's mandate ends in mid-May but he said his successor would be just as reluctant to call a new vote.
"I doubt that a new president will be thinking only of new elections. We'll have to see how to give Italy a government," the head of state said.
He made his comments as the three main blocs in parliament grappled with the aftermath of a vote that has left none with a workable majority and has revived fears of a return to the eurozone debt crisis.
Economic data yesterday underlined the problems a new government will face, with youth unemployment rising to a record of almost 39 percent and public debt at 127 percent of gross domestic product.
Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani, whose center-left coalition has a lower house majority but not enough seats to control the Senate, ruled out a "grand coalition" with Silvio Berlusconi's center-right.
This shut off one of two apparent options for a new government, by closing the door on a formal alliance between the two biggest parties, which both backed the technocrat government of outgoing Premier Mario Monti.