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Merkel, Italian president discuss political deadlock


German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed confidence in Italian politicians' "sense of responsibility" after inconclusive elections, at a meeting with Italy's president Thursday, her spokesman said.

"The chancellor expressed her confidence in the sense of responsibility of the political forces in Italy who now have to form a government capable of acting in this complex situation," Steffen Seibert said in a written statement.

It was the chancellor's first comment on this week's Italian elections, albeit through her spokesman.

Merkel also wished Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, who also met his German counterpart Joachim Gauck here, success in carrying out his role in the process of forming a government, Seibert said.

As well as Italy's post-election situation, their talks covered the advancement of the European Union and took place in an "amicable" atmosphere, he added.

Napolitano earlier told reporters here that his country was neither "sick" nor posed a contagion risk to Europe through its post-election political deadlock.