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Italian president seeks support for ‘neutral government’

ROME (Reuters) – President Sergio Mattarella called on Monday for Italy’s bickering political parties to rally behind a short-lived “neutral government” to keep the country’s finances on track and prepare for early elections in 2019.

Looking to end two months of deadlock after an inconclusive election in March, Mattarella said a new vote would have to be held in July or the autumn if such an administration failed to find the necessary backing in parliament.

Italy’s two largest parties said earlier on Monday that they opposed a broad-based government of technocrats and urged a vote on July 8 — the earliest date possible under the law.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

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