Merkel calls Letta, supports coalition with Berlusconi's PdL

Berlin would have backed 'any govt' after two months of deadlock

Merkel calls Letta, supports coalition with Berlusconi's PdL

Berlin, April 29 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel called new Italian Premier Enrico Letta to congratulate him on forming a government to end Italy's two-month political deadlock at the weekend. "She wished him lots of success and invited him to Berlin," said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert on Monday. Seibert added that it made no difference to Berlin that ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party was the main partner in the broad coalition administration along with Letta's centre-left Democratic Party (PD). "We always said that we would support any government that emerged from this difficult situation," said Seibert referring to the long impasse that followed February's inconclusive general election. Merkel and other European leaders expressed frustration at Italy's responses to the eurozone debt crisis towards the end of Berlusconi's third stint as premier, between 2008 and 2011. A peak in the crisis forced Berlusconi to resign as premier in November 2011 and make way for Mario Monti's emergency technocrat administration, which Letta's government replaces.

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