Rome

Talks between Berlusconi and Bersani end inconclusively

No names put forth for next Italian president, says Alfano

Talks between Berlusconi and Bersani end inconclusively

Rome, April 9 - Tuesday's meeting between centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani and centre-right leader Silvio Berlusconi to discuss Italy's next president and other issues ended inconclusively after an hour of talks. "It seems to me it was a good meeting, but we are just at the beginning," PD Deputy Secretary Enrico Letta said. During the meeting, no names were put forth for the country's president, PdL Secretary Angelino Alfano said. However, "(the candidate) must be someone of unquestionable prestige and of recognized institutional competence," Alfano said. "The starting point must be widely shared," Letta said. Italian President Giorgio Napolitano's seven-year term ends mid May. Presidents, who represent national unity and have the power to help governments form and vet laws, are usually expected to be voted by a broad majority. Napolitano has been struggling to break Italy's post-election stalemate but cannot dissolve parliament because of Constitutional curbs on a president's powers in the last six months of his term, meaning that the job will likely fall on his successor.

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