Giorgio Napolitano has been reelected as the president of Italy, after accepting an appeal by the country’s major political parties to stand for a second term.
In their sixth round of voting, 1,007 Italian lawmakers and regional representatives voted for Napolitano, 87, on Saturday, putting an end to a two-month political deadlock.
“I feel obliged to offer my availability as requested,” Napolitano said in a statement, adding, “I cannot shun my responsibility towards the nation.”
Napolitano is expected to put together a broad coalition government to tackle the country’s financial crisis.
Earlier on Saturday, Italian MPs failed to elect a president in the fifth round of voting. Most of the ballots were blank.
Napolitano’s seven-year term ends on May 15.
Tough austerity measures, spending cuts, and pension changes introduced by Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s caretaker government have stirred serious concerns for many people already grappling with the country’s ailing economy.
Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures, triggering protests against spending cuts in many European countries.
Over the past decade, Italy has been the slowest growing economy in the eurozone.
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