Former Italian prime minister Giuliano Amato could be picked to take up the post for a third time, as Italy's president launched urgent talks on Tuesday (April 23) to form a government after a two month post-election stalemate that has weighed on a stagnant economy and alarmed Rome's partners in the euro zone.
After an angry and emotional blast on Monday (April 22) at the very parliament that handed him an unprecedented - and unwanted - second term as head of state at the weekend, 87-year-old Giorgio Napolitano began a rapid round of consultations on Tuesday that could lead to the naming of a prime minister.
An eloquent English-speaker respected in European circles, Amato served as prime minister from 1992-1993 and 2000-2001 but now no longer has a seat in parliament.
His nomination would be unlikely to please younger politicians within the centre-left group he belongs to and would certainly infuriate the 5-Star Movement, which won a quarter of the votes on a rallying cry of sweeping away the political old guard.
Whoever is named is likely to forge a multi-party cabinet to take over from the technocrat government of outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti, who was appointed in late 2011. They will have to face down a soaring unemployment rate and force through urgent economic and political reforms seen as vital to revive Italy's competitiveness.
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