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4/13/2018, 1:50 PM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Italian president claims 'no progress' in coalition talks

Italian President Sergio Mattarella (pictured) stated on Friday that there is "no progress" in the ongoing negotiations to form country's new government following the failure of the second round of talks, more than a month after the general election took place. "I made clear that [Italy] needs to have fully-functioning government. Our citizens’ expectations, the clashes on international trade, important and imminent European deadlines, rising international tensions in areas not far from Italy require a positive conclusion to the debate among the parties," Mattarella said, according to FT. The Italian head of state added that he needs a few days to decide "how to proceed to exit this stalemate."

In the general election which happened on March 4, the populist Five Star Movement was the best-performing individual party, taking around the third of all votes, while the ruling Democratic Party sustained a major defeat, winning only around 18%. Meanwhile, the Eurosceptic, anti-immigrant Northern League won more than 17% of the vote, while together with its coalition partners, the center-right Forza Italia and two other parties, it took around 37% of the votes. However, no single party or alliance got over the threshold of 40% needed to form the government, meaning that a coalition would be necessary.

Breaking the News / FH