Italy President says no risk of contagion from vote uncertainty

BERLIN Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:14am EST

Italy's President Giorgio Napolitano (L) is welcomed by his German counterpart Joachim Gauck upon his arrival at Bellevue palace in Berlin February 28, 2013. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Italy's President Giorgio Napolitano (L) is welcomed by his German counterpart Joachim Gauck upon his arrival at Bellevue palace in Berlin February 28, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Italy's political parties must be given the time foreseen in the constitution to form a new government, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said on Thursday, denying that uncertainty after this week's election posed a risk to wider European stability.

"There are provisions to be respected and that's the reality," he said at a joint news conference with his German counterpart Joachim Gauck. "I do not see right now how it can be accelerated," he said.

"Italy is not without a government at the moment. There is a government in office until the ministers in the next government are sworn in," he said.

"I do not see any risk of contagion. To have contagion there has to be a disease and at this moment, we don't have any illness," he said, adding that he was confident that Italy would continue to accept its responsibilities towards Europe and its share of sacrifices.

(Writing By James Mackenzie)

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