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Napolitano Seeks to Form Government in Italy’s Split Parliament

President Giorgio Napolitano was preparing for a second day of talks with leaders of Italy’s fractious parliament as he seeks to broker a compromise on forming a government in Europe’s fourth-largest economy.

Napolitano’s task in the consultations is to determine whether Pier Luigi Bersani, the 61-year-old ex-communist who controls the lower house in parliament, can muster a majority in the Senate. If that proves unlikely, the 87-year-old head of state may pick a premier from the ranks of political newcomers or, for the second time in two years, hand the reins to an unelected technocrat until new elections.