Italy president says must handle 'disturbing' political issue

ROME Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:30am EDT

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano gestures after a news conference at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, April 27, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano gestures after a news conference at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, April 27, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

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ROME (Reuters) - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Thursday canceled his attendance at a conference because of what he called a "disturbing" political development that required his attention, a day after center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi urged his allies to resign en masse from parliament.

"I would have participated in today's conference if yesterday there had not been a sudden political development that is institutionally disturbing and which requires all my attention today," Napolitano wrote in a note to the organizers of the conference.

Napolitano helped oversee the formation of the current right-left coalition headed by Prime Minister Enrico Letta and would have to decide whether to call elections or seek the formation of a new coalition if the government were to fall.

(Reporting by Paolo Biondi; writing by Steve Scherer)

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