Italy President Ends Talks, Seen Naming PM Wednesday

ROME (Reuters) -

President Giorgio Napolitano completed a rapid round of talks with Italy’s parties and is expected to name a new prime minister on Wednesday, ending a stalemate since February’s inconclusive election.

Italy has been politically adrift in the middle of a recession as the center-left Democratic Party (PD), which has the most seats in parliament, failed for two months to cut a deal with the center-right of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi or the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement.

But Enrico Letta, the head of a PD delegation, said on Tuesday that his party was willing to join a broad coalition along the lines suggested by Napolitano to parliament on Monday.

“We will adhere to the choices that the president of the republic makes tomorrow,” Letta told reporters after a meeting at the president’s palace which closed the day of consultations.

Napolitano, who fiercely attacked the parties on Monday for their failure to adopt economic and institutional reforms, called for a broad alliance which would include the PD and Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party (PDL).

Berlusconi has gone from strength to strength since the election, capitalizing on the center-left’s crisis.