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Insight: Italy came to brink before being saved by "King George"

By Barry Moody and Steve Scherer ROME (Reuters) - On Saturday April 20, the leaders of Italy's two biggest political forces climbed the Quirinal, highest of Rome's seven ancient hills, and begged President Giorgio Napolitano to stay for a second term. Pier Luigi Bersani and Silvio Berlusconi were followed into the presidential palace by outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti, Northern League boss Roberto Maroni and finally the governors of Italy's regions, in scenes that resembled schoolboys visiting the headmaster's office.

Insight: Italy came to brink before being saved by "King George"

By Barry Moody and Steve Scherer ROME (Reuters) - On Saturday April 20, the leaders of Italy's two biggest political forces climbed the Quirinal, highest of Rome's seven ancient hills, and begged President Giorgio Napolitano to stay for a second term. Pier Luigi Bersani and Silvio Berlusconi were followed into the presidential palace by outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti, Northern League boss Roberto Maroni and finally the governors of Italy's regions, in scenes that resembled schoolboys visiting the headmaster's office.

Italian president slams politicians at swearing-in

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Monday urged political parties to strike a deal on a new government "without delay" and accused them of being "deaf" to the urgent need for reforms as he was sworn in for an unprecedented second term. Sparring politicians in the recession-ravaged country have been at loggerheads for two months ever since elections in February that left no clear winner and revealed growing social unease.

Italy's Napolitano: A veteran ex-communist operator

Italy's Giorgio Napolitano, who at 87 was sworn in on Monday to an unprecedented second term to end a long impasse on forming a new government, is an ex-communist with formidable political skills and a reputation for neutrality. Napolitano engineered former European commissioner Mario Monti's rise to power after premier Silvio Berlusconi's ouster in 2011 and has tried to unite bickering politicians in the current deadlock.

Napolitano re-election raises hopes for new government

The re-election of Italy's 87-year-old president Giorgio Napolitano has raised hopes of an end to a two-month impasse on forming a new government but failed to answer calls for change, experts said on Sunday. Napolitano had ruled out standing again but changed his mind on Saturday, becoming the first president ever to do so after parliament proved incapable of electing another candidate and rival parties appealed to him for help.

Napolitano re-election raises hopes for new government

The re-election of Italy's 87-year-old president Giorgio Napolitano raised hopes of an end to a two-month impasse on forming a new government but failed to answer calls for change, experts said on Sunday. Napolitano had ruled out standing again but changed his mind on Saturday, becoming the first president ever to do so after parliament proved incapable of electing another candidate and rival parties appealed to him for help.

Napolitano re-election raises hopes for new government

The re-election of Italy's 87-year-old president Giorgio Napolitano raised hopes of an end to a two-month impasse on forming a new government but failed to answer calls for change, experts said on Sunday. Napolitano had ruled out standing again but changed his mind on Saturday, becoming the first president ever to do so after parliament proved incapable of electing another candidate and rival parties appealed to him for help.

Napolitano re-elected president to tackle Italy impasse

Italy's lawmakers re-elected 87-year-old President Giorgio Napolitano on Saturday in a bid to break the country's political gridlock, as protestors outside parliament jeered the result. The ex-communist Napolitano won with a sweeping majority of 738 ballots out of 1,007 possible votes -- well ahead of leftist academic Stefano Rodota, backed by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, who scored 217. But hundreds of people rallied in Rome at a protest called by Beppe Grillo, the leader of the Five Star Movement, shouting "Jokers!" "Shame!"

Obama congratulates Napolitano on re-election

President Barack Obama congratulated Italian counterpart Giorgio Napolitano upon his successful re-election on Saturday, praising the 87-year-old's "extraordinary leadership." Napolitano was re-elected by Italian lawmakers in a desperate bid to end a deadlock on forming a new government. "I congratulate President Giorgio Napolitano on his re-election as President of Italy," Obama said in a statement. "For seven years, President Napolitano has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in Italy, in Europe, and around the world.

Napolitano re-elected president to tackle Italy impasse

Italy's 87-year-old President Giorgio Napolitano was re-elected in a desperate bid by lawmakers on Saturday to end a deadlock on forming a new government, with cheers in parliament but jeers at a rally outside called by a protest party. The ex-communist Napolitano won with a sweeping majority of 738 ballots out of 1,007 possible votes -- far ahead of the 217 received by leftist academic Stefano Rodota whose candidacy was put forward by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement.
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