Stability in a country that is such a significant European economy has been a stated aim both inside Italy and beyond its borders.
But the inconclusive election result in a country already saddled with massive debt and going through a prolonged recession prompted cautious responses throughout Europe.
European Parliament President Martin Schulz said: “We need a stable government in one of the most important member states of the European Union. Italy is a G8 country, it is the fourth largest economy within the European Union, one of the pillars of the eurozone, so what happens in Italy affects all of us.”
Italy’s election results were watched particularly closely in Germany, a country that is already acting as the EU’s paymaster.
Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said: “Italy plays a central role in the successful handling of Europe’s debt crisis and that is the reason we expect that the policy of consolidation and reform will be continued by a new government.”
In Paris, the French finance minister said the election outcome “creates difficulties” but does not raise questions about advances made in the eurozone.
Pierre Moscovici added: “I hope that Mr Bersani will be able to form a government that will be a friendly counterpart for us and which is committed to European construction.”