Uncertainty high as Italy premier-designate tweaks Cabinet

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Italy's premier-designate Carlo Cottarelli has returned to the presidential palace for informal consultations amid continued market turmoil and uncertainty about the prospects of his proposed government.

Milan's stock index opened slightly higher Wednesday after Asian markets slid on investor concern that a new election could become a referendum on whether Italy will stick with the euro currency.

The uncertainty rose after President Sergio Mattarella's designation of Cottarelli, a former IMF official, to head a politically neutral government failed to calm markets. The appointment also riled populists whose attempts to form a government were quashed by Mattarella over their designation of a euroskeptic economy minister.

Cottarelli returned for informal discussions Wednesday with Mattarella after asking for more time to come up with a list of cabinet ministers. He left without comment.