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Main dates in Italy's political crisis


Italian President Giorgio Napolitano was set to name moderate leftist Enrico Letta to be the prime minister on Wednesday, bringing to an end a political crisis that began in December.

Here are the main dates in the crisis:

-- December 6, 2012: Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party abstains from a vote of confidence in Monti, withdrawing its support for his government after backing it for over a year.

-- December 8, 2012: Monti announces he will resign and Berlusconi says he will lead his party into elections for the sixth time in 20 years.

-- December 21, 2012: Monti formally steps down with his cabinet, but is asked to stay in charge as interim before a new government is formed.

-- December 28, 2012: Monti says he will take part in the elections as head of a coalition of centrist parties and civil society figures.

-- February 24-25: The centre-left wins a majority in the lower house of parliament by a razor-thin margin in inconclusive elections in which no party snags the upper house, leading to gridlock.

-- March 22: Centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani is asked by President Giorgio Napolitano to try and form a government but fails to do so.

-- April 17: Foes Bersani and Berlusconi agree to endorse former senator Franco Marini to succeed Napolitano at the presidential election.

-- April 18: Presidential voting begins, but Marini loses in the first round after rebel centre-left lawmakers support a rival candidate.

-- April 19: The centre-left changes course and backs Romani Prodi for president, but once again rebels skewer his chances and Bersani resigns.

-- April 20: Napolitano agrees to stay on as president, and is re-elected later in the same day to an unprecedented second term in office.

-- April 22: Napolitano accuses parties of being "deaf" to the need for reform and threatens to resign if the deadlock continues.

-- April 24: Napolitano prepares to name moderate leftist Enrico Letta to lead a coalition government between right, centre and left.