Italy’s PM-designate Carlo Cottarelli is to meet the country’s president, amid reports that snap elections may be called to break the political deadlock.
Media reports say Mr Cottarelli, an ex-IMF economist, has failed to secure support from major political parties and may not even bother to be sworn in.
President Sergio Mattarella may choose to skip the appointment of a stop-gap government and call elections in July.
On Sunday, Italy’s two populist parties failed to form a coalition cabinet.
The prospect of fresh elections and the possibility of eurosceptic parties strengthening their position has hit financial markets and raised concerns about the eurozone’s stability.
How did we get here?
Italy, the European Union’s fourth-biggest economy, has been without a government since elections in March because no political group can form a majority.
The two big winners in that election – Five Star and the League – attempted to join forces but abandoned efforts after the president vetoed their choice of finance minister.
Mr Mattarella said he could not appoint the eurosceptic Paolo Savona to the post, citing concern from investors at home and abroad.
The rare move by the president sparked fury from both parties, who say they will reject Mr Cottarelli’s nomination in parliament.