Europe

Italian centrist backs 2nd Renzi gov't if voting's soon

  • Cuirassiers presidential guards stand at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. Italian President Sergio Mattarella, as head of state, has been opening formal consultations as he weighs who should get the mandate to try to form a new government. (Claudio Onorati/ANSA via AP)

    Cuirassiers presidential guards stand at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. Italian President Sergio Mattarella, as head of state, has been opening formal consultations as he weighs who should get the mandate to try to form a new government. (Claudio Onorati/ANSA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • NCD party's Angelino Alfano, left, and Maurizio Lupi leave after meeting President Sergio Mattarella, at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. Italian President Sergio Mattarella, as head of state, has been opening formal consultations as he weighs who should get the mandate to try to form a new government. (Claudio Onorati/ANSA via AP)

    NCD party's Angelino Alfano, left, and Maurizio Lupi leave after meeting President Sergio Mattarella, at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. Italian President Sergio Mattarella, as head of state, has been opening formal consultations as he weighs who should get the mandate to try to form a new government. (Claudio Onorati/ANSA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Italian President Sergio Mattarella arrives to meet reporters at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. With a banking crisis adding urgency, Italy’s president was wrapping up political consultations Saturday, including with Parliament’s largest party, the Democrats, before picking a replacement for caretaker Premier Matteo Renzi. (Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP)

    Italian President Sergio Mattarella arrives to meet reporters at the Quirinale Palace in Rome, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. With a banking crisis adding urgency, Italy’s president was wrapping up political consultations Saturday, including with Parliament’s largest party, the Democrats, before picking a replacement for caretaker Premier Matteo Renzi. (Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A key coalition ally of Italy's caretaker Premier Matteo Renzi says he'd back a second Renzi government if elections are set soon.

Interior Minister Angelino Alfano met Saturday with President Sergio Mattarella, who must choose a new premier. Renzi quit after voters rejected his proposed reforms in a Dec. 4 referendum.

With financial markets and European Union partners concerned about crises facing some Italian banks, Mattarella is expected to decide as soon as Sunday or Monday.

Renzi's Democrats are Parliament's biggest party, so Mattarella is expected to pick a Democrat to try to form a government.

Renzi and the current economy and foreign ministers are considered top contenders.

A new government must win a confidence vote in Parliament.

Citing Italy's economic problems, Alfano says a new government is needed rapidly.