Italy's President Reads Riot Act to Politicians

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano
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Italian President Giorgio Napolitano

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said on Monday he had agreed to his re-election as head of state because of an unprecedented political deadlock and threatened to resign if politicians failed to implement vital reforms.

Reading the riot act to Italy's politicians at his inauguration in parliament, Napolitano bitterly attacked their failures and irresponsibility, especially in failing to reform a dysfunctional electoral law.

Occasionally choking back tears, he said he had reluctantly agreed to an unprecedented second term at the age of 87, because of alarm over the political situation.

Napolitano told politicians they must move to form a government at once and that only a broad coalition was possible in current circumstances.