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ELECTION

France urges Italy to form strong government

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici on Tuesday urged Italy to quickly form a solid government and said the country's election result does not threaten the eurozone. Following the poll the French stock market opened 2 percent down.

France urges Italy to form strong government
Photo: Filippo Monteforte

Italy should "quickly form a stable and strong government," Moscovici told AFP, adding that while the vote "creates problems" it "does not undermine progress in the eurozone."

"We must look at this situation calmly and wait for the conclusions that Italian politicians will draw from this complicated vote," he said.

The elections ended in a stalemate in parliament between right and left after a crunch vote in which the real winner appeared to be the new protest party, the Five Star Movement of former comic Beppe Grillo, which is calling for a referendum on Italy's membership of the euro.

The result has left Italy in a state of limbo with a hung parliament that is unprecedented in its post-war history and raised fears of fresh instability in the eurozone's third-largest economy.

Moscovici urged Italian politicians to work with centre-left Democratic Party leader Pier Luigi Bersani, whose coalition scraped a razor-thin victory in the lower house of parliament.

World markets were rattled following the result, with the Milan stock market plunging nearly five percent, but Moscovici said the results did not represent a threat.

"This does not undermine the fundamentals of Italy, which is a major economy, or of the eurozone," he said.

Meanwhile the Italian election result impacted on France’s stock market amid fears that the result will lead to a delay in much need economic reforms. Shares on the CAC 40 lost around 2 percent on Tuesday morning when news of the deadlock in the polls filtered through.

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ACCIDENT

German tourists among 13 dead in Italy cable car accident

Thirteen people, including German tourists, have been killed after a cable car disconnected and fell near the summit of the Mottarone mountain near Lake Maggiore in northern Italy.

German tourists among 13 dead in Italy cable car accident
The local emergency services published this photograph of the wreckage. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco

The accident was announced by Italy’s national fire and rescue service, Vigili del Fuoco, at 13.50 on Sunday, with the agency saying over Twitter that a helicopter from the nearby town of Varese was on the scene. 

Italy’s National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps confirmed that there were 13 victims and two seriously injured people.

Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported that German tourists were among the 13 victims.

According to their report, there were 15 passengers inside the car — which can hold 35 people — at the time a cable snapped, sending it tumbling into the forest below. Two seriously injured children, aged nine and five, were airlifted to hospital in Turin. 

The cable car takes tourists and locals from Stresa, a resort town on Lake Maggiore up to a panoramic peak on the Mottarone mountain, reaching some 1,500m above sea level. 

According to the newspaper, the car had been on its way from the lake to the mountain when the accident happened, with rescue operations complicated by the remote forest location where the car landed. 

The cable car had reopened on April 24th after the end of the second lockdown, and had undergone extensive renovations and refurbishments in 2016, which involved the cable undergoing magnetic particle inspection (MPI) to search for any defects. 

Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Twitter that he expressed his “condolences to the families of the victims, with special thoughts for the seriously injured children and their families”.

Infrastructure Minister Enrico Giovannini told Italy’s Tg1 a commission of inquiry would be established, according to Corriere della Sera: “Our thoughts go out to those involved. The Ministry has initiated procedures to set up a commission and initiate checks on the controls carried out on the infrastructure.”

“Tomorrow morning I will be in Stresa on Lake Maggiore to meet the prefect and other authorities to decide what to do,” he said.

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