Italy president to announce decision on new government
ROME (AFP) - Italy's President Giorgio Napolitano will give a mandate to form a government on Friday as the country hopes for a leader who has what it takes to end a political deadlock caused by inconclusive elections.
Mr Napolitano's decision comes after two days of intense talks with leaders of the parties to get a parliamentary majority behind a new cabinet and overcome a stalemate that has left the eurozone's third largest economy in political limbo.
The centre-left, led by ex-communist Pier Luigi Bersani, won the Feb 24-25 elections but failed to secure enough votes in the upper house for the majority it needs to govern.
The deep division between Italy's political parties over how to proceed has revived fears the country could plunge back into the debt crisis, just as a bitter standoff over a bailout for Cyprus sends tremors throughout the euro zone.