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UPDATE 1-Italy's centre-left rules out grand coalition - paper

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

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MILAN, March 1 (Reuters) - Italy's centre-left will not form any grand coalition with Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right group after inconclusive parliamentary elections earlier this week, left-wing leader Pier Luigi Bersani said in an interview on Friday.

"I want to spell it out clearly: the idea of a grand coalition does not exist and will never exist," Bersani told La Repubblica newspaper.

A huge protest vote in the Feb 24-25 election produced a parliament in which no single group has a workable majority and in which the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement of Beppe Grillo has a whip hand.

The centre-left coalition has a majority in the lower house but not the Senate.

Bersani said he would present a 7-8 point agenda when summoned for consultations by Italy's President Giorgio Napolitano, who will have the task of forming the new government.

He said he would put himself forward as candidate for prime minister.

When asked if it would be a minority government, Bersani said "call it what you will. For me it is a government of change."

Bersani did not directly reply to questions about the role of the 5-Star movement, which has said in the past it won't form alliances with Italy's traditional parties.

(Reporting By Stephen Jewkes)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130301/update-1-italys-centre-left-rules-out-grand-coalition-paper