Italy's Finance Minister Sees Weeks of Political Deadlock Ahead

(Bloomberg) -- Italy’s political deadlock could last “several weeks, maybe a couple of months,” according to Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, who affirmed that his center-left Democratic Party would go into opposition.

Investors “should expect a resilient economy that continues to be resilient” despite the political uncertainty, Padoan said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Michael McKee at a Group of 20 meeting of finance chiefs in Buenos Aires.

The Democratic Party, which suffered its worst-ever electoral result in the inconclusive March 4 elections, is having “a deep-down discussion among its membership to understand the reasons for its defeat and also the policy implications,” Padoan said.

“What is the Democratic Party strategy over the medium term?” Padoan asked. “This is not just an Italian issue, this is an issue across Europe. We have seen the SPD in Germany also witnessing a strong defeat and still being in government and we have to rethink the social democratic agenda in Europe.”

Rival Claims

While both a center-right coalition led by the anti-migrant League, and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement have claimed the premiership, neither has yet found enough parliamentary seats to form a majority. Parliament reconvenes on Friday with the elections of speakers for the two houses, a possible indication of future alliances.

Padoan said the impasse “is not unusual in Europe, we have seen many cases -- the latest one is Germany -- where months were needed to find a stable government. So why should Italy be different?” He ruled out new elections “at this stage.”

Padoan sidestepped a question on how his party would respond if President Sergio Mattarella were to urge all parties to help form a government. “We will see if that proposal comes from Mattarella,” he said.

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