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By Steve Scherer ROME (Reuters) - Italian lawmakers elected Sergio Mattarella, a constitutional court judge and veteran center-left politician, as president on Saturday, handing a welcome political victory to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. After three inconclusive rounds of voting this week in which a two-thirds majority was needed, Renzi's candidate Mattarella was elected in the fourth round, when the required quorum fell to a simple majority. As the ballots were counted out loud in the Chamber of Deputies, the 1,009 parliamentarians and regional officials eligible to vote burst into applause when Mattarella's name surpassed the 505-vote threshold needed, making him Italy's 12th president since World War Two. Mattarella is expected to be sworn in next week for a seven-year term, taking over officially for the 89-year-old Giorgio Napolitano, who resigned earlier this month.
BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has underlined the refusal of Greece's European creditors to consider forgiving part of the debt-ridden country's rescue loans, though she stressed in an interview published Saturday that Berlin's aim is to keep Greece in the eurozone.