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Italy Risks New Turmoil as President Paves Way for Election

Italy Risks New Turmoil as President Paves Way for Election

President Sergio Mattarella set Italy on the path to a national election likely in March that could lead to a hung parliament and a long period of political turbulence.

Mattarella met Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni at the presidential palace in Rome shortly after the premier told a traditional end-of-year news conference that Italy’s election campaign is “imminent.”

Mattarella and Gentiloni discussed a decree to dissolve parliament due to be signed later on Thursday, and elections likely on March 4, according to a state official who couldn’t be named discussing private matters.

Gentiloni said at his news conference that Italy had managed to avoid “an abrupt end” to the five-year legislature “at a very delicate time in which the economy and our society in general were licking their wounds after a long recession.” Later Thursday, Gentiloni’s government will choose the date of the election.

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