Italy's Berlusconi rules out governing with 5-Star: statement

Forza Italia leader Silvio Berlusconi looks on as League party leader Matteo Salvini (not seen) speaks following a talk with Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the Quirinale palace in Rome, Italy, April 12, 2018. REUTERS/Max Rossi

ROME (Reuters) - Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of Italy’s Forza Italia (Go Italy!) party, on Friday ruled out forming a coalition government with the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement six weeks after a national vote ended in deadlock.

“Out of a sense of responsibility, we had accepted to give the country a government by teaming up with (5-Star) even though it worried us a lot, but the behavior of 5-Star has definitively convinced us that it would not be desirable or possible,” Berlusconi said in a statement.

Berlusconi and his allies, including the far-right League, won the most seats at last month’s national election, while the 5-Star emerged as the largest single party.

However, both sides fell short of an absolute majority and efforts to put together a government have made little progress.

Reporting by Steve Scherer and Massimiliano Di Giorgio