Rome

Elections likely says Monti whip

'Political climate will get worse'

Elections likely says Monti whip

Rome, March 29 - President Giorgio Napolitano's efforts to form a government are likely to fail and fresh elections are looming after last month's inconclusive vote, the House whip for outgoing Premier Mario Monti's party said Friday. "Unfortunately I see the vote very close," said Lorenzo Dellai, adding that he was worried because "the (political) climate in the country will get worse". Napolitano is talking to parties Friday to try to muster support for a government to replace Monti's technocrat administration. So far, ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi has insisted on the need for a grand coalition between his People of Freedom (PdL) party and the centre-left Democratic Party, the biggest forces in parliament, but the PD reiterated its opposition to this. Anti-establishment comic Beppe Grillo, whose 5-Star Movement (M5S) holds the balance of power in the hung parliament, has refused to work with the established parties but the M5S reportedly said Friday it might back a "pseudo-technocrat" to enact a limited reform agenda. Monti restored Italy's credibility after taking over from Berlusconi in November 2011 but deepened the recession with austerity policies before standing for premier and coming in fourth.

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