Italy heading for its third month without a government

Italy heading for its third month without a government
Italy's lower house of parliament in 2016. Photo: Tizana Fabi/AFP
Italy is facing a third month of political paralysis after talks between the centre-left and the Five Star Movement over a coalition government failed to get off the ground on Wednesday.

President Sergio Mattarella's office announced in a statement that a fresh round of consultations will be held at the presidential palace on Monday “to see if the parties have other ideas for a government majority”.

On Sunday, just three days after acting Democratic Party (PD) leader Maurizio Martina had said he was willing to talk to M5S head Luigi Di Maio, former prime minister Matteo Renzi closed the door on any coalition deal with the M5S.

READ MORE: Five Star Movement coalition is 'absurd', says Italy's ex-PM Matteo Renzi

Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Senator Renzi stepped down as PD leader after its centre-left coalition came third behind the right-wing group led by the nationalist League that won the most seats, and the M5S, which is Italy's largest single party following the March 4th vote.

However, Renzi still wields huge influence among PD MPs and senators, many of whom are hostile to Five Star after it ferociously criticized them when they governed Italy. . 

At a conference on Wednesday the Democratic Party's national leadership voted unanimously not to engage in government talks with the Five Star Movement.

“With Five Star, the chapter is closed,” declared Martina.