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Italy now running out of options for a new coalition


THE Italian political crisis that has rattled the eurozone has deepened as two party leaders have ruled out the most likely options to form a government.


Populist leader Beppe Grillo, right, slammed the door shut – with a stream of insults – on overtures from the centre-left boss Pier Luigi Bersani. Meanwhile, Nichi Vendola, Bersani's junior coalition partner, ruled out an alliance with the centre-right.

These two options are currently seen as the only ways to avoid returning to the polls after this week's general election, in which a huge protest vote against traditional politicians and austerity policies plunged the country into deadlock.

The prospect of prolonged uncertainty in the eurozone's third-largest economy caused sharp falls on world markets immediately following the result, but they calmed somewhat yesterday.

The centre-left took the most seats in the poll but no single group has a big enough majority to rule.

Mr Grillo's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement blocked centre-left control of parliament after one of the biggest populist victories in recent European history.

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