10 'sages' to try to form government in recession-hit Italy

ROME (AP) - Ten so-called "wise men" will try on Tuesday to do what Italy's bickering politicians haven't been able to accomplish since inconclusive elections in February - figure out how to form a new government for the recession-mired nation.

President Giorgio Napolitano created the panel of experts last week after centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani failed to form a governing coalition with wide support in Parliament.

Mr Bersani's forces won the lower Chamber of Deputies in the elections but fell short of controlling the Senate.

The panel of lawmakers, professors and a central bank official will try to devise a reform agenda that a broad spectrum of parties can embrace, especially electoral and economic reforms, in a bid to avoid fresh elections.

Nervous financial markets will be watching when trading resumes on Tuesday, post Easter.

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