March 18, 2013 - 10:33 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano appealed to political leaders on Sunday, March 17 to work together to form a government, but his appeal fell on deaf ears and pressure grew for a new poll after last month's deadlocked election, Reuters reported.
The threat of months of political instability following the inconclusive ballot has triggered warnings across Europe that Italy cannot afford to delay urgent reforms to shore up its massive public debt and boost its sickly economy, now stuck in recession for over a year.
Napolitano is due to begin consultations with political leaders on Wednesday to see if there is any chance of establishing a government after the election which left parliament split between three deeply opposed forces.
Pier Luigi Bersani, leader of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), won control of the lower house but fell short in the Senate leaving him dependent on the support of his rivals if he is to form a government.
Bersani said he would tell Napolitano he would not try to reach any set deals in advance but would present proposals to parliament based on attacking corruption and creating jobs.
"The path is very, very narrow. I think I can say that other paths would turn out to be even narrower," he said.
However prospects of a deal with either former premier Silvio Berlusconi or the anti-establishment 5 Star Movement, which holds the balance of power, appear remote, raising fears of a return to the polls, possibly as early as June.