Political parties in Italy face mounting pressure to form a “unity” government and end the impasse that has gripped the country since February's inconclusive elections.
President Giorgio Napolitano has assembled a group of ten men to form the basis of a future cabinet. This could establish a second technocratic government to replace that of Mario Monti, imposed in 2011.
The group includes unelected technocrats like Salvatore Rossi, deputy head of the Bank of Italy, and statistics agency head Professor Enrico Giovannini, alongside some elected representatives.
Napolitano has called on it to provide “much needed stability” to the country.
Monti remains caretaker prime minister, but political decisions have ground to a halt.
Voters showed how sick they are of the old political elite when almost a third voted for the populist 5 Star Movement led by comedian Beppe Grillo.