The leader of Italy’s centre-left Democratic Party, Pier Luigi Bersani has admitted defeat in trying to form a government, and has told the country’s president, Giorgio Napolitano, that he does not have enough support.
Napolitano will now step in and call in party leaders on Friday for consultations.
“I have informed the president of the work I have done over the past few days, which has not concluded with any clear result. I have informed him of the problems and obstructions which I found unacceptable. In this light the president has decided to go ahead himself to immediately sound out the relevant parties and check for himself,” said Bersani.
Starting with former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, other leaders were being asked on Friday if they want to try.
After meeting President Giorgio Napolitano, Berlusconi said he was ready to support a coalition government with centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani but rejected another technocrat administration like the outgoing one led by Mario Monti.
“Our position has not changed, we expressed it with absolute clarity to the president,” the centre-right leader said.
He said he believed there was room for agreement on a series of measures to address Italy’s economic crisis but insisted that any government must be made up of political parties “given the tragic experience” of the Monti government.
Political wild card Bepe Grillo has said Italy could get by without a government, with parliament managing things.
Even Bersani may get another chance. Or the president may nominate a prime minister to try and obtain a consensus around policies of his choosing, like electoral reform and the nomination of a new president, so Italy could have an interim administration pending fresh elections.