Italy faces political gridlock after crucial election
ROME (AP) - Italy faced political paralysis on Monday as near-complete results in crucial national elections showed no clear winner and raised the possibility of a hung parliament.
The uncertainty bodes ill for the nation's efforts to pass the tough reforms it needs to snuff out its economic crisis and prevent a new round of global financial turmoil.
The chaotic election scenes in the euro zone's third-biggest economy quickly snaked around globe - sending the Dow Jones index plunging more than 200 points in its sharpest drop since November and causing Tokyo's red-hot benchmark index to sink nearly 2 per cent at open.
A major factor in the murky result was the astonishing vote haul of comic-turned-political leader Beppe Grillo, whose 5 Star Movement has capitalised on a wave of voter disgust with the ruling political class.