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    Italy’s President Dissolves Parliament, Triggering Elections

    Italian President Sergio Mattarella dissolved parliament on Thursday, setting the country on the path to a national election on March 4 that could lead to a hung parliament and a period of political turbulence.
    The head of state signed a decree ending the legislative sessions in both houses of parliament, according to an emailed statement from Mattarella’s office. At a cabinet meeting later, the government of Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni set the election date, according to an official who could not be named because he was not authorized to comment publicly on the issue.
    At a traditional end-of-year news conference earlier on Thursday, Gentiloni played down the risk of political turbulence ahead.
    “We mustn’t dramatize the issue of political instability, which is certainly an issue but rather than being worried about it, we should tackle it knowing that we’re pretty much vaccinated against it,” Gentiloni said. Frequent change of government “is not a recent phenomenon and it hasn’t stopped our country growing,” he added.

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