Following six days of consultations, Italian centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani told President Napolitano on Thursday that he had not been able to find enough support among the country's fractured parliament to form a stable government.
The day before, MPs of Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement (M5S), had spurned Bersani's latest offer saying they would not give a vote of confidence to the centre-left or anybody else, but would only support laws that reflected their own programme, for example to remove public funding from the parties.
With Grillo refusing to support a centre-left government and referring to all established political leaders as "whore-mongering fathers" on his blog, the only other option would have been an alliance between Bersani and the centre-right of Silvio Berlusconi, but Bersani refused to engage with the idea of a "grand coalition" involving the centre-right party of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
President Giorgio Napolitano will open a new round of talks starting on Friday at 11 a.m. in an effort to form a new government. The only delegation tomorrow morning will be the PDL (centre right). M5S (anti-establishment) will arrive at 4 p.m., Civic Choice at 5 p.m. and the PD (centre-left) at 6:30 p.m. This second attempt of forming a government is made unusually problematic, however, by the fact that Napolitano, who turns 88 in June, is due to stand down in May.