Italian President Sergio Mattarella (C) speaks to the media after the consultations at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, capital of Italy, on April 5, 2018. The first round of government formation talks has failed to produce a workable majority, Italian President Sergio Mattarella told the nation in a live statement on Thursday. (Xinhua/Jin Yu)
ROME, April 5 (Xinhua) -- The first round of government formation talks has failed to produce a workable majority, Italian President Sergio Mattarella told the nation in a live statement on Thursday.
The March 4 general election divided parliament into three main blocs, none of which has enough votes to form a government on its own.
"It is therefore essential that different sides come to an understanding," Mattarella said at the close of the second day of talks.
However, such an agreement "has not emerged", so another round of talks will take place next week, the president said.
The Italian election last month delivered two relative winners: a center-right bloc led by the right-wing, anti-immigrant League party, which also includes former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's moderate Forza Italia party, and the populist Euroskeptic Five Star Movement.
The third player is the center-left Democratic Party of outgoing Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, which went into the opposition after a dismal electoral showing.
Both Matteo Salvini of the League and Luigi Di Maio of the Five Star Movement claimed the right to be the next prime minister of Italy, and the two have been courting each other since the election.
Di Maio said Thursday his party was willing to work either with the League or with the Democrats to form a government. "These are two alternative solutions," he said in televised comments.
Earlier in the day, Salvini said he favored a government alliance with the Five Stars, adding he hoped "they will stop saying no to everything and start saying yes".
However, in a clear reference to the Five Stars, Berlusconi, Salvini's coalition ally, said his party would not take part in "governments of populism and hate" that would spark a "recessive spiral" and "a chain of bankruptcies, including in the banking sector".
Democratic Party interim secretary Maurizio Martina reiterated that the election result "prevents us from participating in a hypothetical government" and that those who won the election should take responsibility.
It remains to be seen whether a fresh round of talks next week will lead to a breakthrough.