Democratic Party chief Nicola Zingaretti says his goal is to form a lasting government [Fabio Frustaci/EPA]

A deal on forming a government in Italy between the Five Star Movement and the opposition Democratic Party (PD) looked close on Monday after the PD indicated it had dropped a veto on Giuseppe Conte serving another term as prime minister.

Conte, who belongs to no party but is close to Five Star, resigned last week after the collapse of a 14-month coalition between Five Star and the far-right League, brought down when League leader Matteo Salvini pulled out.

President Sergio Mattarella has given Five Star a chance to avert a snap election by forming a new coalition with the PD. Last week, he told them to

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