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Italy 'wise men' want political, financial reforms in bid to end gridlock preventing gov't

Two task forces appointed by Italy's president to help break the country's political gridlock have proposed a host of government and financial reforms that have long been discussed but never taken up by Italy's squabbling politicians.

The 10 "wise men" presented their final reports Friday after a brief, two-week mandate to try to help end the impasse that has prevented the formation of a government following inconclusive February elections.

President Giorgio Napolitano named the experts in what was widely seen as a bid to buy time as politicians shifted attention from forming a government to electing a successor for Napolitano, whose term ends next month.

The task forces called for everything from a rethink of Italy's entire system of governance to greater funding for research and economic development.