Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who had lobbied hard on his foreign minister's behalf, expressed annoyance that the European Council summit had failed to settle on a candidate to replace Catherine Ashton.
“For the role of High Representative for foreign policy, there is no candidate other than the one from Italy," he was quoted as saying by La Repubblica.
"We came here for an agreement that didn’t happen; it only needed a text message,” adding that there are “no vetoes” to block Mogherini from taking the role.
“The view is shared by all that there are no other candidates other than the one from Italy. I haven’t seen any opposition to Mogherini.”
"Today's meeting could have been much more effective if it had been better prepared."
"But...it was a good opportunity to see everyone and wish Angela Merkel happy birthday"
La Repubblica struck a papal note with its headline, which read: "EU appointment, black smoke at the summit".
The newspaper said French President Francois Hollande "fully supports the Italian candidate". It added that "even Merkel" backed the Italian, albeit less explicitly.
Business daily Il Sole 24 Ore ran with the headline, "Europe split on appointments: still a stalemate over Mogherini for foreign post".
News agency Ansa kept it short and pointed: "Nothing done, summit postponed".
Corriere della Sera published a cartoon of European Parliament President Martin Schulz endorsing the Italian with the faintest of praise:
"I think Mogherini is well placed. For Europe's foreign politics inexperience is an advantage."
Story continues below…July 17, 2014
Outgoing European Council President Herman van Rompuy said the leaders would settle on a full package of appointments when they next convene on August 30th.
We live-blogged the summit on Wednesday. Here's a look back at a dramatic day in world politics that ended with the EU and the US both tightening sanctions against Russia.
Scroll to the bottom to see how it all began.