Italian president to hold 'rapid' talks to seek new government

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Italian president to hold 'rapid' talks to seek new government

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Italy’s newly re-elected President Giorgio Napolitano has said he will start a “rapid” series of meetings on Tuesday to seek the formation of a government to end the country’s two-month political deadlock

Two months shy of his 88th birthday he is already one of the world’s oldest heads of state and was more than reluctant to begin another seven-year term.

Speaking at the swearing in ceremony of his unprecedented second term on Monday he told those present not be complacent as there is still a lot that needs to be done.

“Be careful, I don’t want any self indulgent applause. I am not just speaking to those who are responsible for the widespread corruption in the different spheres of the administration and in politics, but also those who are responsible for blocking reforms,” he said.

He added that one of the biggest problems was the failure of the politicians to reform the electoral system that’s lead to a political stalemate ever since the country’s general election in February.

“We can no longer refuse the duty of dialogue, to find possible solutions, we require quick and clear decisions on the urgently needed reforms, we need to survive and improve Italian democracy and Italian society.”

Italian parties begged Napolitano to stay on after five previous ballots failed to produce a winner.

He returns with enhanced powers and has indicated he could call a snap election if politicians fail to form a broad coalition government.