Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Parliament elections leave Italy split

ROME — After more than a year of stable but unelected government, Italy appeared headed for a period of uncertainty Monday as results from a closely watched election showed a major backlash against the political establishment and signs of gridlock in parliament.

An inconclusive outcome threatens to unnerve investors and spark a flareup of Europe's debt crisis. Investors are worried that prolonged instability in Italy could compromise efforts to improve competitiveness and to turn around a lingering recession in the eurozone's third-largest economy.

Partial returns from voting on Sunday and Monday gave the most seats in the 630-seat lower house of parliament to a coalition of center-left parties led by Pier Luigi Bersani, a former communist who looks likely to become prime minister. But his forces were struggling to prevail in the equally powerful upper chamber, which has about 315 seats, over the conservative camp of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. He mounted a strong comeback after having been forced to step down from office in November 2011 amid a severe loss of market confidence in his government.

And both houses must deal with the stunning success of a grass roots protest party headed by a professional comedian, Beppe Grillo, whose 5 Star Movement came in third overall on the back of a populist, antigovernment message that offers plenty of voter disgust but little in the way of experience or concrete plans. Grillo's rallies across Italy, marked by profanity-laced tirades against the country's political elite, drew hundreds of thousands of supporters.

Without a decisive grip on power in both houses of parliament, Bersani will have a tough time putting together a durable government, which raises the prospect of yet another trip to the polls for Italians months from now.

"You have an electorate split into three pieces," said Sergio Fabbrini, a political science professor at the LUISS Guido Carli university in Rome. "It will be very difficult to identify a viable majority within the parliament. It will be very difficult to have a coalition."

No party gained a majority in two days of balloting for a new parliament in Italy, which could spark a flareup of the debt crisis.

Associated Press

No party gained a majority in two days of balloting for a new parliament in Italy, which could spark a flareup of the debt crisis.

Parliament elections leave Italy split 02/25/13 [Last modified: Monday, February 25, 2013 11:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. State Dept.: U.S. to block Americans from traveling to North Korea

    World

    The Trump administration plans to prohibit Americans from traveling to North Korea, the State Department announced Friday, citing serious risks of arrest and imprisonment in the isolated totalitarian state.

    Student Otto Warmbier, 22, died June 19 after being released from North Korea in a coma.
  2. Man dies after losing control of pickup in Dade City

    Accidents

    DADE CITY — A man died Friday after he lost control of his pickup truck through a bend in the road and collided with an oncoming car, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  3. Teens recorded drowning man and laughed, but face no charges

    Criminal

    Authorities say a group of teens who watched, laughed and made a video as a man drowned in a retention pond can be charged with failure to report a death.

    Jamel Dunn, 31, drowned July 9 in Cocoa.
  4. After huge sinkhole opens, residents weigh future with unease

    Public Safety

    LAND O'LAKES — The wood floors creak each time Kendra Denzik dashes inside her darkened home to grab fresh clothes. She can't help but panic when they do.

    Eleven families along Ocean Pines Drive in Land O’Lakes homes are fenced in due to the massive sinkhole from last Friday on Thursday, July 20, 2017. The Doohen’s are among 11 families who had to evacuate from their homes.
  5. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members

    News

    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]