Italian stalemate into third month after talks collapse

Rome

Italy will be dragged into a third month of political deadlock after talks between the centre-left and the Five Star Movement over a coalition government failed to get off the ground.
President Sergio Mattarella’s office announced in a statement on Wednesday that a fresh round of consultations will be held at the presidential palace on Monday “to see if the parties have other ideas for a government majority.” On Sunday, just three days after acting Democratic Party (PD) leader Maurizio Martina had said he was willing to talk to M5S head Luigi Di Maio, former prime minister Matteo Renzi closed the door on any coalition deal with the M5S.
Senator Renzi stepped down as PD leader after its centre-left coalition came third behind the right-wing group led by the nationalist League that won the most seats, and the M5S, which is Italy’s largest single party following the March 4 vote.
However he still holds huge power among PD MPs and senators, many of whom are hostile to the M5S thanks to the ferocious criticism which it targetted the current PD government, in power since 2013.—AFP

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