URGENT ¥¥¥ Italy president asks 'two groups' to break government impasse

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Saturday asked "two restricted groups" to come up with a government programme in a bid to break a political deadlock but stressed that outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti remained in charge.

"I am preparing to ask two restricted groups of different personalities" to come up with reform proposals, Napolitano said, without giving further details after party talks on a new government failed to end the impasse.