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Italy's political parties fail to end stalemate. Persident Sergio Mattarella says forming a coalition government is a matter of urgency

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By Mark Armstrong
Italy's President Sergio Mattarella speaks to reporters
Italy's President Sergio Mattarella speaks to reporters

Efforts to end Italy's political stalemate stalled on Friday after two days talks ended in failure to form a coalition government.

The anti-system 5-Star Movement emerged as the largest single party in the March 4 vote but no one won an absolute majority. Italy's President Sergio Mattarella said reaching an accord is now a matter of urgency:

"Our citizen`s' expectations, the struggle on the world markets, upcoming events within the European Union, the upscaling of international tension in areas not far from Italy require that there is urgently a positive engagement between the parties to reach this goal.

"I will wait a few days, and then I will evaluate how to proceed to break the deadlock," the head of state told reporters.

The 5-Star movement is willing to work with the far-right League, but is refusing to link-up with its ally, the former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. A senior official said he expected the president to make a move late next week if no accord is reached.

Berlusconi unexpectedly addressed reporters at the end of the meeting to accuse 5-Star of "ignoring the basics of democracy".