Italy's Bersani again refuses coalition with center-right

ROME Tue Apr 2, 2013 10:39am EDT

Italy's PD (Democratic Party) leader Pierluigi Bersani reacts during a news conference following a meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at the Quirinale Presidential palace in Rome March 28, 2013. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Italy's PD (Democratic Party) leader Pierluigi Bersani reacts during a news conference following a meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at the Quirinale Presidential palace in Rome March 28, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Tony Gentile

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ROME (Reuters) - Italian center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani restated his refusal to form a grand coalition with the center-right bloc led by Silvio Berlusconi, saying on Tuesday that a cross-party government would not be credible.

Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PDL) party has repeatedly called for the center-left to form a coalition government with them, but the former prime minister is politically toxic to his traditional rivals.

Bersani said a so-called "governissimo", with the center-left, PDL, and the centrist Civic Choice group, "would be in our opinion the wrong solution to the needs of the country".

He also rejected the center-right's call for new elections and to be allowed to pick the next president to succeed President Giorgio Napolitano, whose term ends in May.

(Reporting by Naomi O'Leary; editing by James Mackenzie)

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