Italian leader fails to form new coalition
Italy remains in political gridlock after the centre-left leader announced he had failed to form a government.
Pier Luigi Bersani, who has been talking with parties since last week, expressed some bitterness when he told reporters at the president's office in Rome that he found "unacceptable" attempts by some parties to set "preclusions and conditions".
Mr Bersani's attempt at forming a stable government was always a long shot.
His coalition controls the lower house but not the Senate, and inconclusive February elections gave strong voice to a protest party.
The next move belongs to President Giorgio Napolitano, who will hold a day of consultations today to "personally ascertain the developments possible", the president's secretary general, Donato Marra, said.
The failure makes more likely a possible technical government with a well-defined mission to take on urgent tasks, which include rewriting the election law.